Dr Keith McCrory: Echoing the ‘Vatican View’ on Evolution and Creation

Maynooth Community Church: Dr Keith McCrory:

Echoing the ‘Vatican View’ on Evolution and Creation

Back on 18th October 2011 I posted an article to the ministry web site entitled –

Maynooth Community Church: Promoting the Jesuit Cause

The link to that particular article is – http://www.takeheed.info/maynooth-community-church-promoting-the-jesuit-cause/ and in it I related how the minister of the church (the latest congregation to be admitted into the Presbyterian Church in Ireland), Dr Keith McCrory had arranged a special conference where the guest speaker, a fellow Presbyterian minister colleague, Tom Wilson, had been lined up to extol ‘the (infamous) virtues’ of the ‘Spiritual Exercises’ of Ignatius Loyola (founder of the Jesuits).

It has now been brought to my attention that in a magazine called VOX, published in that same month of October 2011, there appeared an article by Dr Keith McCrory entitled –

Why Evolution is not Our enemy

In this article I plan to reproduce in full what Dr McCrory wrote; then I will reproduce it in full again only this time with my comments/analysis (in red) interspersed amongst it; I will follow this with examples of helpful Creation Ministry materials currently available and then I will make reference to and detail the consequences of where Dr Keith McCrory completed his doctorate in church planting; then I will explain the reference in the title to ‘Echoing the “Vatican View” on Evolution and Creation’, and finally I will share some concluding thoughts on Dr McCrory and Presbyterian ‘standards’.

Firstly this is what Mr McCrory wrote in full in each of the six sections of his article as published in VOX –

(1) Why Evolution is not Our enemy

It is hard to find a more hotly disputed or highly emotive subject within the family of faith than the theory of evolution. It has been 150 years since the first publication of ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life’ (full title, 1859). Darwin’s theory has led to radical shifts in scientific understanding. It has also led to the rise of New Atheism and, sadly, to deeply divisive debates within the Christian church. If we are to be authentic, effective witnesses to the Gospel in our land, we must do honest business with this former Cambridge University theology student and with his once-speculative theory that has become the predominant worldview of Western science and culture. I would like to look at some of the key issues that emerge in this debate and explain why, for me, evolution is not our enemy.

(2) Evolution and Atheism are Not the same thing

Christians proclaim that our world did not appear by accident. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” – Genesis 1:1. The origins of our universe, as well as its species, lie undeniably in the will and action of its creator. This is the vital starting place in any Christian discussion of creation. And despite New Atheism, the theory of evolution in no way threatens this Whether God brought our world to its fully formed state in a short period or whether he did so over millions of years changes nothing about his position as Creator  or the ongoing miraculous nature of his work. Richard Dawkins and his like might wish to argue that evolution disproves God’s existence but their argument is utterly illogical. The theory of evolution speaks only to the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of our world and has nothing to say to the more significant questions of ‘why’ and ‘who’. Atheism may say that there is no ‘who’ to discover but the theory of evolution itself does not.

(3) Evolution does not threaten the Authority and Infallibility of Scripture

Some say evolution contradicts the literal reading of the creation accounts or even threatens the credibility of the whole Bible. But are these fears warranted? Benjamin B Warfield was a respected Professor of Theology at Princeton Seminary (1887-1921) and an ardent advocate for the authority of the Bible:

‘… there is no necessary antagonism of Christianity to evolution, provided we do not hold to too extreme a form of evolution… if we condition the theory by allowing the constant oversight of God in the whole process, and his occasional supernatural interference for the production of new beginnings… we may hold to the modified theory of evolution and be Christians in the ordinary orthodox sense’

Perhaps the most famous Christian evangelist of the 20th century, Rev Dr Billy Graham said –

‘I don’t think there’s any conflict between Science and the Scriptures. I think we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we’ve tried to make [them] say things they weren’t meant to say… We have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book… The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course… I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process… does not change the fact that God did create man… whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man’s relationship to God’.

Dr Alistair McGrath is a Professor of Theology, Ministry and education at King’s College, London. He holds a first-class honours degree in chemistry, a doctorate in molecular biophysics and a first class honours degree in theology from Oxford University:

‘Evolution is not, by definition, atheistic. Some Christians will be uncomfortable with the idea of believing in evolution, particularly because it raises the question of how to interpret the early chapters of genesis. All I can say is, with complete integrity, there are many Christians who see evolution as illuminating the way in which we understand Genesis as giving us an enhanced vision of how God brought the world and humankind into being. People can make evolution atheistic but it doesn’t have to be’.

In an article entitles ‘Augustine’s Origin of Species’ (Christianity Today, May 2009) Alistair McGrath outlined the thinking of St Augustine of Hippo (354-430AD). Here is a short extract:

‘For [Augustine] God brought everything into existence in a single moment of creation. Yet the created order is not static. God endowed it with the capacity to develop… He has no time for any notion of random or arbitrary changes within creation. The development of God’s creation is always subject to God’s sovereign providence. Thus God created the world in an instant but continues to develop and mould it, even to the present day. This leads Augustine to suggest that the six days of creation are not to be understood chronologically. These and other biblical passages he insisted can legitimately be understood in different ways. In Augustine’s own words – “In matters that are so obscure and far beyond our vision, we find in Holy Scripture passages which can be interpreted in different ways without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such cases we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in he search for truth justly undermines our position, we fall with it”.

Augustine’s reading of scripture remains remarkably insightful. For him a ‘literal’ reading of Genesis does not require creation to have occurred in six 24-hour days. Neither does it require a rejection of discoveries that appear in contradiction to this view. And if that was so in the fifth century why should it be any different today? Some of us may need to adjust our theological thinking in the light of what we now know. But changing our thinking about these chapters or believing the whole of Scripture loses credibility and authority are two very different things. The Bible’s infallibilty is in no way tied to our fallibility.

(4) Faith and Science

I’m concerned that in ‘defending’ the Gospel from evolution’s perceived attack the Christian church is being positioned at odds with the learning of science. In the Middle Ages, theology was known as ‘the queen of sciences’. These days increasingly Christians are though of as anti-science. Surely this is the ultimate incongruity! (Absurdity).

How could the church that God brought into being ever be threatened by a greater understanding of the world God made? Wouldn’t every new discovery simply affirm and explore the wonder of our heavenly Father’s work? Instead, many who declare creation to be God’s handiwork see science as our enemy.  We must not yield to such persuasion. Abraham Kyper said,

‘There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry mine!’

As followers of Christ we must affirm this and include the field of science within that domain. Of course we will draw different conclusions from the insights of science to those who are atheists, but that is a far cry from rejecting those insights altogether. Scientific discovery may challenge our man-made interpretations but it never challenges the Gospel.

 

The sad mistake of Darwin, and of the church, is to confuse our interpretations of the scriptures with the scriptures themselves. They are not the same. Darwin was no more the ‘Devil’s chaplain’ than any other scientist who has discovered anew insight into the workings of God’s creation.

When we uncover new aspects of what God has done, we are discovering the incredible patterns and sheer brilliance of His thoughts. This unfurling of our world’s nature – whether the Sun’s centrality in our universe, the expanse of space, the nature of DNA or even God’s method of creating new species – is a welcome gift.

(5) The Dangers of Either/Or Apologetics

My real concern about the debate over evolution lies in what is being argued within the Christian church from those who hold the positions of Young Earth creationism. These people are my brothers and sisters in Christ. But with respect I must express my twofold concern.

I am troubled by the increasingly-stated position of some that any who disagree with their views cannot be regarded as Bible-believing Christians or even as true followers of Jesus. They appear to stake the whole credibility of the Bible and of our faith on the ‘rightness’ of their particular interpretation of creation.

Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky argues –

‘You cannot coherently affirm the Christian-truth claim and the model of evolutionary theory at the same time’.

Wayne Grudem, Research professor in Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary says –

‘Christians cannot accept modern evolutionary theory without also compromising essential teachings of the Bible’

More popularly I have heard some say –

‘If I have to choose between believing the Bible about creation or believing the scientists, I am going to believe the Bible’.

For me such arguments are bewildering. They change the whole foundation of our faith from the cross and resurrection of Jesus to these things PLUS a literal six-day creationism. I can see the day coming when someone will say ‘I had to choose between believing the Bible or believing the scientists, so I had to believe the scientists!’

How could such a choice ever be necessary? I am concerned that these non-evolutionary positions hold far more danger for our future mission than Darwin’s’ theory ever will.

(6) No Threat

As evolution becomes widely accepted, there are implications for our peripheral thinking and teachings as Christians. But it alters absolutely nothing of the core message we proclaim as followers of Christ.

Whichever astonishing miracle God used to bring our race into being, our rebellion cut us off from Him and only through a Saviour who paid the price for our sins on the cross can we be reconciled to him. The Bible’s sole purpose is to reveal this truth. It is on this alone that the credibility of the Christian faith is based.

Darwin’s theory changes nothing about the Gospel’s good news for our species. This is why, for me, the theory of evolution holds no threat to the future mission of the church and is not our enemy as followers of Jesus Christ.

Now I will reproduce the article in full again only this time with my comments/analysis (in red) interspersed amongst it

(1) Why Evolution is not Our enemy

It is hard to find a more hotly disputed or highly emotive subject within the family of faith than the theory of evolution. It has been 150 years since the first publication of ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life’ (full title, 1859). Darwin’s theory has led to radical shifts in scientific understanding. It has also led to the rise of New Atheism and, sadly, to deeply divisive debates within the Christian church. If we are to be authentic, effective witnesses to the Gospel in our land, we must do honest business with this former Cambridge University theology student and with his once-speculative theory (unlike Mr McCrory, who labels this evolution theory as “once-speculative”, the more correct description of the theory of evolution would be “still-speculative”) that has become the predominant worldview of Western science and culture. I would like to look at some of the key issues that emerge in this debate and explain why, for me, evolution is not our enemy.

(2) Evolution and Atheism are Not the same thing

Christians proclaim that our world (it’s not our world it’s God’s world – Psalm 24:1) did not appear by accident. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” – Genesis 1:1. The origins of our universe, as well as its species, lie undeniably in the will and action of its creator (very Jesuitical phraseology as creative ‘action’ as outlined in the opening chapters of Genesis is not specifically referred to and certainly not affirmed).

This is the vital starting place in any Christian discussion of creation. And despite New Atheism, the theory of evolution in no way threatens this (yes it does as it undermines the entrance of sin by one man as being the cause of death and undermines the gospel that is the remedy for the consequences of sin namely through the death of one man. It also destroys credibility in the Word of God – instead of ‘God hath said’ you end up with ‘hath God said?’)

Whether God brought our world to its fully formed state in a short period or whether he did so over millions of years changes nothing about his position as Creator (this statement confirms my earlier comment about Mr McCrory’s phraseology being Jesuitical and it also erodes confidence in God’s Word being ‘truth’) or the ongoing miraculous nature of his work. (God’s creative work is not ‘ongoing’ as Genesis 2:1 tells us)

Richard Dawkins and his like might wish to argue that evolution disproves God’s existence but their argument is utterly illogical.

(Acceptance of evolution may not disprove God’s existence but it serves to make Him out to be a liar and His Word to be full of lies.  Consider the following examples – in Hebrews 11:3 we read “through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear”.  An evolutionist cannot say ‘Amen’ to that verse. What an evolutionist believes is totally and completely opposite to what is stated in this verse. Dr John Whitcomb, retired professor of Theology and Old Testament at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana summed it up very well when on page 52 of his book ‘The Early Earth’ he wrote “the testimony of an honest evolutionist could be expressed in terms of Hebrews 11:3 as follows, ‘By faith, I, an evolutionist, understand that the worlds were not framed by the word of any god, so that what is seen has indeed been made out of previously existing and less complex visible things, by purely natural processes through billions of years’.

Consider now the Apostle Paul – in explaining God’s order in relation to authority, headship etc he wrote in 1 Timothy 2:13 “Adam was first formed then Eve”.  When warning the church in Corinth to be on their guard against false preachers and teachers he wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ”.  Returning to the theme of sin and its consequences Paul wrote inRomans 5: “As by ONE man sin entered into the world and death by sin” (v 12) “death reigned from ADAM to Moses” (v 14) “through the offence of ONE many be dead” (v 15) “by the offence of ONE judgment came upon all men to condemnation” (v 18). Paul clearly taught, in keeping with the ‘literal truth’ of Genesis, that ADAM was a real person and that HIS transgression of God’s law had consequences for every individual born thereafter by natural procreation.

Consider now the Apostle Peter. In his writings he affirms the flood of judgment that came upon the earth in the days of Noah (2 Peter 2:5) and God’s creation of everything (2 Peter 3:4).

Finally consider the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. During the course of His ministry He referred to many Old Testament events such as the story of Jonah, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and like Peter He also spoke of the flood. When He was discussing the topic of divorce with the Pharisees He made a direct reference to the creation of male and female in these words “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). Clearly for the Lord Jesus the first married couple (remember He said this in the context of a debate on couples divorcing) were Adam and Eve).  

The theory of evolution speaks only to the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of our world and has nothing to say to the more significant questions of ‘why’ and ‘who’. Atheism may say that there is no ‘who’ to discover but the theory of evolution itself does not.

(The theory of evolution does address the ‘who’ by its rejection of the revealed ‘Creator God’ of the Scriptures who created all things as outlined in the opening chapters of Genesis. The ‘who’ God of theistic evolution is NOT the ‘who’ God of the Bible).

(3) Evolution does not threaten the Authority and Infallibility of Scripture

Some say evolution contradicts the literal reading of the creation accounts or even threatens the credibility of the whole Bible. But are these fears warranted?

(These are not ‘fears’ but ‘facts’ and are absolutely warranted as they reject the literal reading of the creation accounts and so threaten the credibility of the whole Bible – if Genesis can’t be taken literally and can be rejected in favour of so-called ‘science’ then why should any of the rest of the Bible be taken literally?)

Benjamin B Warfield was a respected Professor of Theology at Princeton Seminary (1887-1921) and an ardent advocate for the authority of the Bible:

‘… there is no necessary antagonism of Christianity to evolution, provided we do not hold to too extreme a form of evolution… if we condition the theory by allowing the constant oversight of God in the whole process, and his occasional supernatural interference for the production of new beginnings… we may hold to the modified theory of evolution and be Christians in the ordinary orthodox sense’

(This sounds like a plea for ‘theistic evolutionists’ to be considered to be ‘orthodox Christians’ but the reality is that by rejecting the literal truth of the Genesis creation accounts they have put themselves outside the pale of the  ‘orthodox Christian’ view of the Bible).

Perhaps the most famous Christian evangelist of the 20th century, Rev Dr Billy Graham said –

‘I don’t think there’s any conflict between Science and the Scriptures. I think we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we’ve tried to make [them] say things they weren’t meant to say… We have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book… The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course… I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process… does not change the fact that God did create man… whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man’s relationship to God’.

(Again this is a plea for toleration of ‘theistic evolution’ and the claim is made that allowing such a view does not adversely affect the Scriptures. Mr Graham claims ‘The Bible is a book of Redemption’ but we can only believe that if we also believe that it is a ‘Book of truth’ as the Lord Himself declared it to be in John 17:17. ‘Theistic evolution’ erodes the very foundation of that declaration by the Lord that “Thy word is truth”. It should also be pointed out that ‘evolution’ is a theory and not ‘science’ – genuine ‘science’ must be observable and repeatable by experimentation and ‘evolution’ fails on both counts. In addition, the creation account of the fall of man is crucial to the whole plan of redemption as Paul makes very plain in Romans 5:12-19. Billy Graham once famously said “God said it; I believe it; that settles it”. He was of course totally wrong when he said that. For the Christian the truth is “God said it; that settles it”).

Dr Alistair McGrath is a Professor of Theology, Ministry and education at King’s College, London. He holds a first-class honours degree in chemistry, a doctorate in molecular biophysics and a first class honours degree in theology from Oxford University:

‘Evolution is not, by definition, atheistic. Some Christians will be uncomfortable with the idea of believing in evolution, particularly because it raises the question of how to interpret the early chapters of genesis. All I can say is, with complete integrity, there are many Christians who see evolution as illuminating the way in which we understand Genesis as giving us an enhanced vision of how God brought the world and humankind into being. People can make evolution atheistic but it doesn’t have to be’.

(Yet again the plea goes out to tolerate ‘theistic evolution’ and the claim is made that for some it was “illuminating” and gave “an enhanced vision of how God brought the world and humankind into being”. ‘Theistic evolution’ doesn’t give “an enhanced vision” but rather it gives ‘a different and scripture-contradicting vision’. ‘Theistic evolution’ doesn’t say ‘God hath said’ but it does say ‘Hath God said? And everyone familiar with the entrance of sin into this world will readily recognise that devilish question).

In an article entitles ‘Augustine’s Origin of Species’ (Christianity Today, May 2009) Alistair McGrath outlined the thinking of St Augustine of Hippo (354-430AD). Here is a short extract:

‘For [Augustine] God brought everything into existence in a single moment of creation. Yet the created order is not static. God endowed it with the capacity to develop… He has no time for any notion of random or arbitrary changes within creation. The development of God’s creation is always subject to God’s sovereign providence. Thus God created the world in an instant but continues to develop and mould it, even to the present day. This leads Augustine to suggest that the six days of creation are not to be understood chronologically. These and other biblical passages he insisted can legitimately be understood in different ways. In Augustine’s own words – “In matters that are so obscure and far beyond our vision, we find in Holy Scripture passages which can be interpreted in different ways without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such cases we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in he search for truth justly undermines our position, we fall with it”.

Augustine’s reading of scripture remains remarkably insightful. For him a ‘literal’ reading of Genesis does not require creation to have occurred in six 24-hour days.

(Well, for Augustine a ‘literal’ reading of Genesis may not have required creation to have occurred in six 24-hour days but FOR GOD Genesis most definitely required creation to have occurred in six 24-hour days otherwise what GOD said in the fourth commandment would have made no sense whatsoever. God was instructing the Israelites how to order their 7-day week and He cited a precedent “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day” (Exodus 20:11). That example quoted by GOD HIMSELF would have made no sense or carried no weight if it had not been ‘literal’ truth).

Neither does it require a rejection of discoveries that appear in contradiction to this view.

(What Mr McGrath defines as ‘discoveries’ are in many cases merely ‘conjectures’ as they require an input of human speculation when dealing with the question of origins for of course none of the scientists claiming these ‘discoveries’ were actually around at the time of origins – only God was!)

And if that was so in the fifth century why should it be any different today?

(Augustine was merely a fallible man and just because he made this apparently reasonable ‘human wisdom’ statement in the fifth century doesn’t mean that it was also ‘divine wisdom’ and still to be regarded as such in this present day. Acts 5 records an incident of more apparently reasonable ‘human wisdom’ but was it actually ‘divine wisdom’?

Gamaliel, the grandson of Hillel, a prominent rabbi, cautioned his colleagues in the Sanhedrin to be careful how they dealt with the followers of Jesus and that it would probably be best that they should actually be ignored (Acts 5:38). He argued that if what the disciples of Jesus claimed was actually true, they could be running the risk of fighting against God Himself.

First of all, Gamaliel’s advice comes within the context of saving human life and has nothing to do with reasonable debate. Another point to consider is that ignoring false doctrine does not necessarily mean it will go away. If Gamaliel’s advice was a truism, why do false ‘church’ groups and cults continue to grow?

The New Testament also shows us that the apostle Paul, one of Gamaliel’s prize students, did not even heed his former schoolmaster’s advice. In fact, Paul made it a point to personally confront those he felt were in error. Whether it meant taking his message directly into a Jewish synagogue (Acts 13:5; 14:1; 17:17), a hill in Athens (Acts 17:22ff), or even confronting a fellow apostle of higher seniority (Galatians 2:11).

Why did Paul contradict the advice of his mentor, Gamaliel – he did so because, as a regenerate son of the Living God, he sought to obey ‘divine’ wisdom’ and not to be sidetracked into accepting apparently reasonable ‘human wisdom’.  God said “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent”. God can render foolish the ‘human wisdom’ of those with a high IQ.

When it comes to understanding ‘origins’ Christians should accept the account of the One who was there at the time rather than the perceived ‘human wisdom ‘of fallen, fallible men).

Some of us may need to adjust our theological thinking in the light of what we now know. But changing our thinking about these chapters or believing the whole of Scripture loses credibility and authority are two very different things. The Bible’s infallibility is in no way tied to our fallibility.

(The Bible’s ‘infallibility’ in the eyes of the on-looking non- Christian world is totally undermined if we decide to rethink or reinterpret what is clearly meant to be accepted as ‘literal truth’ and instead regard it as merely being poetic or symbolic in order to accommodate it within evolutionary speculation – speculation that contradicts one of the fundamental truths of scripture namely the reason for and the means by which death entered into this world. Rejection of the ‘literal truth’ of 6-day creation in favour of evolutionary speculation has very serious and damaging doctrinal consequences for the ‘infallibility’ of the Bible.

Alistair McGrath has been quoted extensively by Mr McCrory. Mr McGrath is not someone whose opinions I am in any way comfortable or confident with. On this link http://www.takeheed.info/news-from-the-front-march-2004/ you can locate an article I wrote entitled ‘Alistair McGrath and the Catholic Catechism’.  If you take the time to read this article I believe you will readily discern why Mr McCrory would have an empathy with Mr McGrath and why he, unlike me, would feel extremely comfortable in quoting Mr McGrath as an authority.

Likewise I would also personally steer well away from citing Billy Graham as an authority and if you want to know why then simply go to our ministry web site homepage on http://www.takeheed.info scroll down to ‘Video Viewing’ and watch my presentation on ‘Billy Graham: The man and his message’. Let me just repeat what I wrote earlier – Billy Graham once reportedly said “God said it; I believe it; that settles it”. He was of course totally wrong when he said that. For true and faithful Christians the truth is “God said it; that settles it”).

(4) Faith and Science

I’m concerned that in ‘defending’ the Gospel from evolution’s perceived attack the Christian church is being positioned at odds with the learning of science.

(By putting the word ‘defending’ in inverted commas Mr McCrory insinuates once again that evolution is not a genuine attack upon ‘the Gospel’. But ‘the Gospel’ is all to do with resolving the problem that the entrance of sin into the world created [see 1st Corinthians 15:1-4].

The truth is that the theory of evolution is a head-on denial of how death, the direct consequence of sin, entered into the world. The condemnation of the whole human race is entirely down to the sin of Adam [Romans 5:18a & 19a] and the justification of the whole of God’s elect is down to the righteousness of the last Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ [1 Corinthians 15:45; Romans 5: 18b & 19b].

The first seeds of doubt about the truth and accuracy of God’s Word were sown by Satan when he posed the question “Yea, hath God said?” (Genesis 3:1). The theory of evolution today, in relation to the opening chapters of Genesis and to the words of Romans 5:12-19, sows those same seeds of diabolical doubt by posing that same devilish question ‘Yea, hath God said?’ 

Mr McCrory alleges that by rejecting the theory of evolution ‘the Christian church is being positioned at odds with the learning of science’. It is important to understand precisely what ‘science’ is – the Collins Dictionary definition of ‘science’ reads as follows – ‘the systematic study of the nature and behaviour of the material and physical universe, based upon OBSERVATION, EXPERIMENT and MEASUREMENT’.

When it comes to the question of ‘origins’, the ‘theory of evolution’ fails on all three counts. Ken Ham put it like this on page 5 of his book ‘The Lie’ – he wrote ‘Most people have the wrong idea about what the creation/evolution question involves… they have been deceived into believing that evolution is science. It is not a science at all. It is a belief system about the past. We do not have access to the past… we cannot directly test the past using the scientific method which involves repeating things and watching them happen since all evidence that we have is in the present’.

How then can we evaluate the merits of the competing claims on ‘origins’ namely ‘Creation’ and ‘Evolution’? We can only do so in the light of what we can currently observe, what we can currently repeat by experiment and what we can currently ‘measure’. Under these 3 elements of true ‘science’ we find today nothing that runs contrary to the claims of Divine Creation as outlined in Genesis but the same cannot be said for the ‘theory of evolution’.

When it comes to ‘origins’ God holds a ‘trump card’ and that is the source of life itself. The theory of evolution claims to be able to list the material but inanimate ‘building blocks’ necessary for life but CANNOT explain how these ‘dead’ material ‘building blocks’ could spark/generate life. A helpful article entitled ‘Why Abiogenesis is impossible’ is located on http://www.trueorigin.org/abio.asp One helpful quote from the start of the article that hopefully will encourage you to go to the link and read on is –

‘Abiogenesis is the theory that life can arise spontaneously from non-life molecules under proper conditions.  Evidence for a large number of transitional forms to bridge the stages of this process is critical to prove the abiogenesis theory, especially during the early stages of the process.  The view of how life originally developed from non-life to an organism capable of independent life and reproduction presented by the mass media is very similar to the following widely publicized account’.

On Sunday 10 December 2006 Mr (Richard) Dawkins took part in a ‘Creation v Evolution’ debate with Professor Andy McIntosh of the creationist group ‘Truth in Science’ that was broadcast on the Radio Ulster programme ‘Sunday Sequence’. My reaction to Mr Dawkins performance was summed up as follows in an email that I sent to the CALEB Evangelical Group –

“I thought the debate went very well from a Biblical Creation point of view – Dawkins was pitiful – reduced to personal attacks on Andy McIntosh and openly admitting that he hasn’t discovered yet how ‘life’ came into being – once it did come into being then according to him evolution ‘kicked in’ but whatever ‘sparked’ life, as far as he is concerned, it wasn’t God and that atheistic view colours ALL his thinking.”

This quote was taken from my article located on – 

http://www.takeheed.info/whose-evolutionary-feathers-have-been-ruffled/

Another somewhat technical but nonetheless helpful quote from ‘Why Abiogenesis is impossible’ that is located on http://www.trueorigin.org/abio.asp and that explains the present insurmountable difficulties that evolutionary scientists have in explaining the origins of life reads as follows

‘Naturalism requires enormously long periods of time to allow non-living matter to evolve into the hypothetical speck of viable protoplasm needed to start the process that results in life.  Even more time is needed to evolve the protoplasm into the enormous variety of highly organized complex life forms that have been found in Cambrian rocks.  Neo-Darwinism suggests that life originated over 3.5 billion years ago, yet a rich fossil record for less than roughly 600 million years commonly is claimed.  Consequently, almost all the record is missing, and evidence for the most critical two billion years of evolution is sparse at best with what little actually exists being highly equivocal…. Abiogenesis is only one area of research which illustrates that the naturalistic origin of life hypothesis has become less and less probable as molecular biology has progressed, and is now at the point that its plausibility appears outside the realm of probability.  Numerous origin-of-life researchers, have lamented the fact that molecular biology during the past half-a-century has not been very kind to any naturalistic origin-of-life theory.  Perhaps this explains why researchers now are speculating that other events such as panspermia or an undiscovered “life law” are more probable than all existing terrestrial abiogenesis theories, and can better deal with the many seemingly insurmountable problems of abiogenesis.’

Despite this crucial ‘origins’ hurdle and difficulty it is clear that advocates of the theory of evolution are becoming increasingly strident in their claims for its validity – none more so than Richard Dawkins. In the lead article of the British Church Newspaper (No. 225: 27 January 2012) the focus was upon The Department for Education and their intention to support only the teaching of ‘evolution’ as science at the expense of any reference to ‘creation’ as being a scientific possibility. The article quoted Richard Dawkins as saying ‘I welcome all moves to ensure that creationism is not taught as fact in schools…evolution is fact, supported by evidence from a host of scientific disciplines’. So, for Richard Dawkins, the ‘theory’ of evolution is no longer a ‘theory’ but is fact. In direct conflict with this claim, later in the article we read the following important section –

‘Among the scientific FACTS already commonly denied to students in connection with the evolution v creation debate are these:

(1) that fossils can ONLY be formed under conditions of instantaneous burial, consistent with a worldwide flood

(2) that the earth’s sedimentary rocks ALL show signs of being laid down by extremely fast flowing water in large volumes (Cecil – this article might be worth looking http://www.takeheed.info/durhams-grand-canyon-well-mr-dawkins-pick-the-bones-out-of-that-one/)

(3) that biology has shown that evolution by mutations is impossible since mutations are ALWAYS imperfections from the original

(4) that the so-called ‘science’ of radiometric dating is VALUELESS due to many factors, including relying on 14 different unprovable assumptions and huge contradictions resulting from its data; for example dating rocks known to be just 200years old as being tens of millions of years old

(5) that the fossil record reveals NO EVIDENCE of gradual ‘transformation’ from one species to another, as claimed by Darwinists’.

In a short leaflet written in 1986 and entitled ‘Mount St Helens and Catastrophism’ Steven A Austin Ph.D wrote of the scientific lessons that were learned in the wake of the gigantic eruption of Mount St Helens in Washington State on 18th May 1980. He wrote ‘The total energy output on May 18 was equivalent to 400 million tons of TNT – approximately 20,000 Hiroshima size atomic bombs… Up to 600 feet thickness of strata have formed since 1980 at Mount St Helens (Just 6 years after the explosion) Photographic documentation assembled by the Institute for Creation Research scientists demonstrated that very pronounced rills and gullies had formed at the margins of seam explosion pits before Mat 23 – less than 5 days after the pumice was deposited. The rills and gullies resembled badlands topography, which geologists have usually assumed required many hundreds or even thousands of years to form… Mount St Helens provides a rare opportunity to study transient geologic processes which produced within a few months changes which geologists might otherwise assume required many thousands of years. The volcano therefore challenges our way of thinking about how the earth works, how it changes and the time scale we are accustomed to attaching to its formations. These processes and their effects allow Mount St Helens to serve as a miniature laboratory for catastrophism. Mount St Helens helps us to imagine what the biblical Flood of Noah’s day may have been like’.

Mr Austin co-operated with Dr John Morris (son of Henry Morris) on a book about the Mount St Helens explosion called ‘Footprints in the Ash’ and on the back cover we read ‘Today the site stands as a testament to the power of God who upholds all of creation. In His infinite wisdom He has shown the modern science of geology that the earth is much younger than many suspected’.

One final point that I would draw to Mr McCrory’s attention – it is not just ‘the Church’ that is, according to him, ‘being positioned at odds with the learning of science’ – hundreds of scientists from around the world who have accepted creation must also, as Mr McCrory put it, be likewise ‘at odds with the learning of science’. To see evidence of these ‘creation’ scientists you can find details on a number of links such as

In the Middle Ages, theology was known as ‘the queen of sciences’. These days increasingly Christians are thought of as anti-science. Surely this is the ultimate incongruity! (absurdity).

(The only real ‘incongruity’ or ‘absurdity’ occurs when people like Mr McCrory take the position that ‘the theory of evolution’ represents genuine ‘science’ – it does not as Ken Ham so eloquently demonstrated in the quote I gave earlier from his book ‘The Lie’.

In his book ‘The Battle for The Beginning’ Pastor John MacArthur identifies what really is ‘the ultimate incongruity’ – In the section headed ‘Evolution is Hostile to Reason’ he wrote (pp 35-38) –

‘Naturalism essentially teaches that over time and out of sheer chaos, matter evolved into everything we see today by pure chance. And this all happened without any particular design. Given enough time and enough random events, the evolutionist says, anything is possible. And the evolution of our world with all its intricate ecosystems and complex organisms is therefore simply the inadvertent result of a very large number of indiscriminate but extremely fortuitous accidents of nature (Cecil – this ties in neatly with what I wrote in the article on – http://www.takeheed.info/a-total-eclipse-of-the-sun-a-quirk-of-fate-or-the-glory-of-god/ … naturalists look at the universe, and despite all the intricate marvels it holds, they conclude no one made it. Chance brought it about. It happened by accident. That is not logical. It is absurd.’ (Incongruous))

How could the church that God brought into being ever be threatened by a greater understanding of the world God made? Wouldn’t every new discovery simply affirm and explore the wonder of our heavenly Father’s work? Instead, many who declare creation to be God’s handiwork see science as our enemy.

(Once more Mr McCrory is positing the view that ‘the theory of evolution’ is authentic ‘science’ and already we have seen that in this he is totally mistaken. Genuine, authentic ‘science’ poses no difficulties for creationists, we only have a problem with “oppositions of science falsely so called” (1st Timothy 6:20).)

We must not yield to such persuasion. Abraham Kyper said,

‘There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry mine!’

(This quote by Mr Kyper appears to relate to the ‘ownership’ of everything by Christ as confirmed by Paul in Colossians 1:16-17 and of course those verses also clearly confirm that Christ CREATED everything and SUSTAINS everything – “all things were created by him and for him. And he is before all things and by him all things consist”)

As followers of Christ we must affirm this and include the field of science (genuine ‘science’) within that domain. Of course we will draw different conclusions from the insights of science to those who are atheists, but that is a far cry from rejecting those insights altogether. Scientific discovery may challenge our man-made interpretations but it never challenges the Gospel.

(The ‘theory of evolution’ is not an “insight” nor is it a “scientific discovery” – it is pure ‘speculation’ and it does challenge the very fabric of ‘the gospel’ as I have demonstrated earlier).

The sad mistake of Darwin, and of the church, is to confuse our interpretations of the scriptures with the scriptures themselves. They are not the same. Darwin was no more the ‘Devil’s chaplain’ than any other scientist who has discovered a new insight into the workings of God’s creation.

(I have already demonstrated from Scripture itself that for important biblical characters such as the Apostles Paul and Peter (and I could also add Moses) and supremely the Lord Jesus Christ, creation as revealed to us in the opening chapters of Genesis was quite simply literal truth – any other reading of those chapters is undoubtedly a devilish misinterpretation and deception by ‘the god of this world who blinds minds’. We must always and only allow Scripture to interpret Scripture and when we ‘analyse’ Genesis 1& 2 in the light of Exodus 20:11 the interpretation is clear – 6 literal 24 hour days!)

When we uncover new aspects of what God has done, we are discovering the incredible patterns and sheer brilliance of His thoughts. This unfurling of our world’s nature – whether the Sun’s centrality in our universe, the expanse of space, the nature of DNA or even God’s method of creating new species (All ‘species’ were created and settled during the 6 days of creation – new and subsequent ‘breeds’ are not ‘new species’ but simply variations within the original boundaries of set ‘species’) – is a welcome gift.

(5) The Dangers of Either/Or Apologetics

My real concern about the debate over evolution lies in what is being argued within the Christian church from those who hold the positions of Young Earth creationism. These people are my brothers and sisters in Christ. (Young earth creationists may possibly have a different opinion on what Mr McCrory has just written) But with respect I must express my twofold concern.

I am troubled by the increasingly-stated position of some that any who disagree with their views cannot be regarded as Bible-believing Christians or even as true followers of Jesus. They appear to stake the whole credibility of the Bible and of our faith on the ‘rightness’ of their particular interpretation of creation.

(How can a theistic evolutionist claim to be ‘Bible-believing’ when they don’t believe the clearly laid out truths of Genesis 1 and 2 which are confirmed by Exodus 20:11? How can a person be a ‘true follower of Jesus’ and then deny that His glorious redemption is based upon His justifying righteousness rectifying the problem created by the condemning unrighteousness of Adam?)

Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky argues –

‘You cannot coherently affirm the Christian-truth claim and the model of evolutionary theory at the same time’.

Wayne Grudem, Research professor in Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary says –

‘Christians cannot accept modern evolutionary theory without also compromising essential teachings of the Bible’

More popularly I have heard some say –

‘If I have to choose between believing the Bible about creation or believing the scientists, I am going to believe the Bible’.

For me such arguments are bewildering.

(They are not ‘bewildering’ to those of us who have been graciously regenerated by the Holy Spirit who is “the Spirit of truth” [John 16:13])

They change the whole foundation of our faith from the cross and resurrection of Jesus to these things PLUS a literal six-day creationism.

(Not so: The foundation for the true believer is “Jesus Christ and him crucified” [1 Corinthians 2:2] but true believers are commanded to be discerning and to “try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” [1 John 4:1] for “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” [Matthew 7:21] and true believers can “know” and recognise these “false prophets which come in sheep’s clothing… by their fruits”[Matthew 7:15-16]

I can see the day coming when someone will say ‘I had to choose between believing the Bible or believing the scientists, so I had to believe the scientists!’

(True ‘science’ will NEVER be in conflict with the Bible so a true believer will NEVER be faced with such a dilemma. On pages 28-29 in his book ‘The Battle for The Beginning’ Pastor John MacArthur wrote –

‘science has never disproved one word of Scripture and it never will. On the other hand evolutionary theory has always been in conflict with Scripture and always will be… the notion that the universe evolved through a series of natural processes remains an unproven and untestable hypothesis and therefore it is not “science”… True science has always affirmed the teaching of Scripture… Everything Scripture teaches about sin and redemption assumes the literal truth of the first three chapters of Genesis… If Genesis 1-3 doesn’t tell us the truth, why should we believe anything else in the Bible?… After all, if God is not the Creator, then maybe He’s not the Redeemer either. If we cannot believe the opening chapters of Scripture, how can we be certain of anything the Bible says?)

How could such a choice ever be necessary? I am concerned that these non-evolutionary positions hold far more danger for our future mission than Darwins’ theory ever will.

(The true ‘mission’ of Christ’s Church will NEVER be endangered by telling forth the truth of CREATION and Paul demonstrated that amply on Mars Hill – “As I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein… he giveth to all life and breath and all things… and hath made of one blood all nations of men… and hath determined the times beforehand and the bounds of their habitation” [Acts 17:23-26] This declaration of the One true Creator-God by Paul echoes what he preached in Lystra “ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven and earth and the sea and all things that are therein” [Acts 14:15].

In his Study Bible John MacArthur wrote this in relation to the verses I quoted from Acts 17

‘The Athenians were super-naturalists, they believed in supernatural powers that intervened in the course of natural laws. They at least acknowledged the existence of someone beyond their ability to understand who had made all things. Paul thus had the opportunity to introduce them to the Creator-God who could be known (Deuteronomy 4:32-39) When evangelising pagans, Paul started from creation, the general revelation of God’ [Cecil see also Romans 1:20]

A forthright proclamation of God as ‘Creator’ was never far from the lips of the Apostle Paul and that is an example to be steadfastly followed!

(6) No Threat

As evolution becomes widely accepted, there are implications for our peripheral thinking and teachings as Christians. But it alters absolutely nothing of the core message we proclaim as followers of Christ.

Whichever astonishing miracle (A miracle is by definition “a supernatural event” – evolution on the other hand is defined as “developing by natural process” so it CANNOT be classed as a ‘miracle’) God used to bring our race into being, our rebellion (NO! –it was Adam’s!) cut us off from Him and only through a Saviour (referred to as the last Adam) who paid the price for our sins on the cross can we be reconciled to him. The Bible’s sole purpose is to reveal this truth. (It also reveals the future NEW Creation and the blessedness of those who will eternally enjoy it, and on a very sombre note it also reveals the eternal fate of those who die without Christ) It is on this alone that the credibility of the Christian faith is based. (Proverbs 30:5-6 declares that we must rely on divine revelation such as the truth of creation and not on any human speculation such as the theory of evolution)

Darwin’s theory changes nothing about the Gospel’s good news for our species. (By dictionary definition a ‘species’ is – ‘a class of animals’ – human beings, despite their sinful, vile and wicked tendencies are not ‘a class of animals’.) This is why, for me, the theory of evolution holds no threat to the future mission of the church and is not our enemy as followers of Jesus Christ. (The Word of God, in all its revealed truth, including that of creation, is described by Peter as “incorruptible seed” in 1 Peter 1:23 and, through the mighty work of the Holy Spirit acting upon that pure Word, we learn that it  is the essential means by which lost sinners are regenerated. To substitute the Theory of Evolution for God’s revealed truth of creation is to radically change God’s Word in and in effect to change it into what Peter, in the same verse, refers to as “corruptible seed”. Such a change renders evolution an ‘enemy’ of the true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The following Creation web site resources and articles are just a small sample of helpful materials that are available to faithful Bible-believing Christians.

Creation Resources Trust – http://www.crt.org.uk/news_and_views.htm

THERE is a well-known story of a stranger who stopped to ask a local the way to a certain place. The local replied, “Well, if I were going there, I wouldn’t start from here!” When we, as Christians, seek to share the message of the Gospel in our post-Christian culture, could it be that we are starting at the wrong place?

WIDESPREAD IGNORANCE

There is widespread ignorance of the Bible and the teachings of Jesus. No longer can we assume that the people we seek to reach have any concept of the meaning of sin and salvation. Add to this the increasingly vocal message of the “new atheists” who insist that evolution has removed the need to believe in God, and we begin to understand why we so often seem to be sowing seed on stony ground.

The opponents of Christianity have chosen to use evolution as their main weapon, and have convinced multitudes of uninformed people that Christianity is no longer believable. Evangelists, especially those who work on the streets, tell us that evolution is the main stumbling-block to faith. So why do so many Christians continue to insist that the creation-evolution issue is not relevant to evangelism? Jesus taught that we should love God with our minds as well as our hearts, so why do we so often shy away from this challenge, and refuse to defend our faith as something that is logical and intellectually satisfying?

THE RIGHT STARTING-POINT

When Paul preached in Athens, he recognised that the Greeks, unlike Jews, lacked knowledge of the Old Testament. Grieved at the Athenians’ idolatry, and having noticed an altar inscribed “To an unknown god,” Paul used this as a starting-point to tell them that “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth.” (Acts 17: 24). Then, having got the attention of the people, Paul went on to tell them that they were answerable to this God, who had revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, and through whom He would judge the world. So often, our evangelism begins with an appeal to people to repent of their sin and believe in Jesus Christ. Maybe this is the wrong starting-point. If many have been persuaded that the “discoveries of science” mean that belief in the Bible is no longer credible, why do we expect them to listen? Of course, conviction of sin is a work of the Holy Spirit, but surely we have a duty to remove stumbling-blocks to faith? And it is undeniable that evolution is a huge stumbling-block to many. With more and more scientists doubting evolution, and a growing surge of convincing evidence against it, it is time to meet this challenge head-on. There are so many wonderful, good-quality resources now available — books, DVDs, the internet — that there is no excuse for opting out of this challenge.

The ruins of the Areopagus in Athens where the apostle Paul preached (Acts 17). The plaque contains the words of his sermon, in which he began, not with the Gospel, but with the existence of God as the Creator of everything.

AIDS TO EVANGELISM

Part of the ministry of organisations like CRT is to equip Christians to defend their faith, and give them confidence to share it. We fail to understand why, with the plethora of aids to evangelism now available, so many won’t even take the trouble to look at resources which tackle the main arguments used by the enemies of the Gospel. And they wonder why people are not responding!

Jesus taught that we should love God with our minds as well as our hearts, so why do we so often shy away from the challenge to defend our faith as something that is logical and intellectually satisfying?

Creation Resources Trust also published the following short article on their web site in response to Richard Dawkins’ somewhat fanciful book ‘The Magic of Reality’.

Richard Dawkins appeals to the young

Militant atheist and evolutionist Professor Richards Dawkins turns his attention to young people in his latest book, “The Magic of Reality”. Sub-titled “How we know what’s really true,” it is well-produced and colourfully illustrated. Professor Dawkins does a good job explaining the structure of atoms and the language of DNA, and writes in an entertaining way. However, he makes no attempt to explain the origin of the DNA language, and shifts from fact to fantasy when he tries to explain the diversity of life on earth.

In answer to the question “How, in reality, did complicated things like frogs and lions, baboons and banyan trees, princes and pumpkins, you and I come into existence?”, he invokes “the slow magic of evolution.” According to Professor Dawkins, “The answer is that complex organisms… did not come about suddenly in one fell swoop, but gradually, step by tiny step, so that what was there after each step was only a little bit different from what was already there before.” He says this is how fish became monkeys and bacteria humans. He gives examples of natural selection in frogs, but doesn’t bother to explain that they were never anything other than frogs. Neither does he tell his young readers that mutations don’t add new information to the genome — which means that fish couldn’t evolve into monkeys or bacteria into humans — or that the fossil record doesn’t reveal such slow, gradual changes. Apparently, given enough time, the impossible can happen! After claiming that evolution can perform miracles, Professor Dawkins dismisses Biblical miracles as impossible. He compares the Biblical story of creation with absurd creation myths from Africa, Egypt and China, even though, unlike the Genesis account, they are not supported by scientific evidence nor believed by any scientists.

Near the beginning of the book, Professor Dawkins writes about testing models. “We look carefully at the model and predict what we ought to see…. Then we look to see whether our predictions are right or wrong… If our predictions are wrong, we reject the model, or modify it and try again.” (emphasis in original). The evidence from the fossils and the living world doesn’t fulfil the predictions of the evolution model, yet Professor Dawkins will neither reject nor modify it! He concludes that his version of origins is “Quite simply — wonderful… Wonderful because real.” But he omits to repeat his depressing comment in another book, “Natural selection is as indifferent to the distant future of the race as it is indifferent to the suffering of the individuals being selected… the universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.” (River out of Eden, 1995). That would have spoilt the image of wonder he wants to instil into the minds of his young readers! We are convinced that the creation model of origins does fit the evidence, and that there is a Creator who made us in His image and who loves us. We believe that this is “wonderful. Wonderful because real!”

ANOTHER CREATION RESOURCE RECOMMENDATION

http://www.answersingenesis.org/PublicStore/product/4-Power-Questions-to-Ask-an-Evolutionist,5701,229.aspx

4 Power Questions to Ask an Evolutionist

Format: DVD

Length: 50 mins.

Dimensions: 5.25 x 7.5 in.

Ages: 12 & up

Publisher: Answers in Genesis–US

Published: 2008

Do you struggle to find an appropriate response to the proponents of evolution? Hard questions come from teachers, friends, coworkers, even your own family. In this richly illustrated and easy-to-understand DVD, popular speaker & leadership trainer Mike Riddle equips you to turn the tables by asking your evolutionist friends four simple—yet powerful—questions:

  1. Where did the universe’s original matter come from?
  2. How did life begin?
  3. Where are all the supposed transitional fossils between the Precambrian and Cambrian periods?
  4. Where did the dinosaurs come from?

Each “power question” is compelling in itself and leads the evolutionist to understand that he is relying on faith and not empirical science. Riddle demonstrates how to use these questions to present the gospel and reveal the truth, that there is a Creator God who made heaven and earth, as recorded in Genesis!

About the speaker

Mike Riddle is a dynamic and passionate speaker, with a wealth of experience in creation ministry. This former decathlon athlete has a phenomenal testimony, and has brought another exciting dimension to the AiG outreach—including his ability to create curricula for educators. (Also see Mr. Riddle’s “Hot Topic” DVD Cloning, Stem Cells, and the Value of Life.)

On the link you can also watch ‘enticing’ extracts from Mike Riddle’s video.

Another article that should be worth having a look at is by Answers in Genesis and it states that ‘Evolution is not even a Theory’ – it is located on

http://www.answersingenesis.org/get-answers/features/evolution-not-even-theory

Again on creation resources you might be interested to check out the helpful booklet ‘The Delusion of Evolution’ – details and ordering facilities located on

http://www.newlifepublishing.co.uk/delusion/index.php

Finally I would like to direct your attention to a local Northern Ireland creation ministry that have proved to be very helpful to my own ministry in a number of ways – they are Creation Outreach Ministries and you can catch up with them on their web site at –

http://www.creationoutreachministries.com/com/

Moving on from creation resource recommendations, at the end of the printed article in VOX some details were given about the author of the article as follows –

Author’s details  

Rev. Dr Keith McCrory is pastor of Maynooth Community Church. He studied Computing & Electronics at Durham University before entering the Presbyterian ministry. He completed his doctorate in church planting at Fuller Theological Seminary in California.

In the light of these details about Mr McCrory I want now to detail some of the unfortunate consequences resulting from where Dr Keith McCrory completed his doctorate in church planting, namely Fuller Theological Seminary.

In the ‘Sword & Trowel” 1987 No: 3 issue published by the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London (Spurgeon’s old church) there was a very informative article written by Dr John Whitcomb (who along with Dr Henry Morris authored ‘The Genesis Flood’). It was entitled ‘Seeds of Disaster’ and I want now to quote some extracts from it –

‘The hand of man was seen as the New Evangelicalism made its appearance. By the 1950’s it had reached its full strength. I shall focus on just one place where it started… The particular institution I shall focus upon is the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California… Fuller Theological Seminary arose as a consequence of the enormous influence of Charles E Fuller’s radio programme – The Old Fashioned Revival Hour – … At the end of the Second World War, Charles Fuller, then in his declining years, became very concerned to launch a new theological seminary… Within 10 years of the founding of the new seminary it was destroyed as a reputable repository of the truths of God’s precious Word… How did the theological deterioration of Fuller Theological Seminary occur? …

The great significance of this sad history is that it is representative or illustrative of how Satan does his work… the stated purpose of the school seemed to be less for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ and for the perpetuation of His infallible, revealed Word, and more that Fuller Seminary could be known internationally as a theological institution of great academic brilliance… One thing was apparently forgotten: that the wisdom of man and his achievements are foolishness to God…

The second flaw was connected with the necessity for confrontation in the defence of God’s Word… the president of the seminary (Dr Ockenga) never visited the campus, to administer, to confront the professors and to interact as a leader. He stayed three thousand miles away in Boston pasturing his church… there was no one there to confront and to discipline… And so, one after another of the great scholars who taught at Fuller began to show his true colours concerning his attitude to the Bible… what is so frightening is that what has happened at Fuller Seminary has happened in hundreds of other institutions’.

Dr Whitcomb then continued his assessment of Fuller Theological Seminary in a follow-on article called ‘The New Evangelicalism Bursts Into View’ and wrote –

‘Fuller Theological Seminary began with great expectations and great publicity, but from its beginning a catastrophe was waiting to happen. We have already noted the initial quest for prestige and the confidence placed in human achievement. We have also referred to the lack of confrontation and discipline to maintain the spiritual quality of the faculty. This last factor made the seminary highly vulnerable to satanic incursion as the school grew rapidly in size… Naturally more and more professors had to be added… They were of course asked if they agreed with a very brief statement of faith. But the main question seemed to be – Are you academically qualified to be impressive to the world of scholarship? Incipient heresy therefore entered the faculty right from the earliest stages…

It is amazing to look back on that harrowing year 1956-57 – the date of the visible birth of the new-evangelical philosophy which had been in gestation for so long… One of America’s most influential Bible-conference teachers and writers, Donald Grey Barnhouse publicly repudiated his fundamentalist position… Dr Barnhouse spent the remaining years of his life attacking fundamentalist principles, including the doctrine of biblical separation… At the same time the Inter0Varsity Christian Fellowship in America began to show its true colours by inviting to their main conference speakers who would ridicule biblical separation… the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship became notorious as a vehicle for the open promotion of new evangelicals and their views…

At that very same time Fuller Seminary, through its new president, Edward John Carnell, persuaded, helped and encouraged Billy Graham to abandon separatist principles in evangelism which he had previously observed. In 1957 he accepted the invitation of the liberal, Protestant council of ministers of New York City to hold a gigantic campaign in Madison Square Gardens. This marked the beginning of Billy Graham’s philosophy of ecumenical evangelism…

Fuller Theological Seminary by the mid-1950s was showing its colours so clearly that some of its original lecturers gave up in despair and left… In the middle 1950s Edward John Carnell became president of Fuller… But E J Carnell was a philosopher not an administrator. He was also very weak in his theological position on many issues including the inerrancy of Scripture. In 1959 for example hew rote in his book ‘The Case for Orthodox Theology’ that Adam could well have received his body from a previously evolved ape so that Genesis could be non-historical and non-scientific…

It (Carnell’s book) created an enormous stir at Wheaton College which was considered in North America to be the most prestigious, academically respectable of all evangelical, accredited general education universities. E J Carnell had graduated from Wheaton… Wheaton College decided, and this is a typically new-evangelical response, to have a dialogue, a panel discussion on the book. They did not want to confront heresy but to debate it… Dr Carnell was not invited but George Eldon Ladd, a colleague from Fuller Seminary, was invited to defend him… What was Dr Ladd’s defence of E J Carnell?… He simply answered by saying – I paraphrase his reply – “Well you do not know him personally as I do. He is a gracious gentleman, a godly man”. I was stunned. What did this have to do with what he had written in his book? But this is how Satan brings in heresies. He says to us, “Look how gracious this man is. Look how loving he is. Look how academically respectable he is” … Of course Satan will bring in heresy through nice people, not angry, immoral, radical-looking people. But at Fuller Seminary heretics were accepted because they were nice people, fine Christian gentlemen and because they were academically respectable…

The demise of Fuller Seminary was finally and predictable sealed one day in December 1962 – a day described by Harold Lindsell as “Black Saturday”. At a meeting of the board of trustees and faculty committees Daniel Fuller (who was the son of Charles E Fuller, and newly appointed to the faculty) made a speech. In it he said, in effect, “I must be honest with you, gentlemen, and with you members of the board of trustees, I have come to the conviction that the Bible does contain errors”. On “Black Saturday” Daniel Fuller declared his position. The result was an incredibly sad lesson for all of us. Then and there Satan exploited a close father-son relationship and Daniel Fuller’s father, the seminary founder, decided his position – “Whatever my son says I will support”… Wilbur Smith resigned. The following year Harold Lindsell resigned as Dean Next Gleason Archer gave up and left and by the middle 1960s the anti-inerrancy forces at Fuller Seminary had absolute control…

What lesson may be derived from these events?… One lesson is surely the principle that God has no “spiritual grandchildren”. Each generation of children must fight its own battle for the Truth all over again… God has not promised to perpetuate any institution – only His Word… What are we committed to? Our chief commitment should always be to the Word of God and to the God of that infallible and infinitely precious Word.’

Another source that you might want to look at that refer to the problems that arose at Fuller Seminary are located on http://drtimwhite.com/2010/04/19/the-importance-of-doctrinal-statements-part-3/

With an academic pedigree of declension like that it should not then come as any great surprise to find that Dr McCrory chose to study at Fuller Theological Seminary and that now at Maynooth Community Church he is promoting Jesuit thinking as I showed in my earlier article on – http://www.takeheed.info/maynooth-community-church-promoting-the-jesuit-cause/ and that he is advocating that evolution, a complete denial of creation as recorded in Genesis, is no enemy of God’s Word.

In his article ‘The New Evangelicalism Bursts Into View’ that I have already extensively quoted from Dr Whitcomb wrote ‘We define the new evangelicalism as an attitude or mentality on the part of evangelicals (Cecil – some professing to be) to compromise – to some extent – the doctrines of holy Scripture in order to be accepted by professing Christians outside the evangelical community’.

For me the distinguishing features of those who could be described as ‘New Evangelicals’ are that they  INTEGRATE with error rather than SEPARATE from it; that they TOLERATE error rather than REJECT it ; that they CO-OPERATE with error rather than CONFRONT it. Fuller Theological Seminary was in the Vanguard of promoting ‘New Evangelicalism’ and in Dr McCrory they appear to have turned out a star pupil.

For more information on Dr Whitcomb you might like to look at the articles on http://baptistbulletin.org/?p=9509 and pages 77-80 of the document located on –   

http://www.febc.edu.sg/assets/pdfs/bbush/The%20Burning%20Bush%20Vol%201%20No%202.pdf

I want now to address my reference in the title to this article that in his article Dr McCrory was ‘Echoing the “Vatican View” on Evolution and Creation’. So what is The Vatican’s view on evolution and creation? Former priest, Richard Bennett has written a couple of helpful articles located on http://www.bereanbeacon.org/articles.php?link=?name=Articles and I would direct you first to

Rome Promotes Evolutionism, Excludes the God of Creation

By Richard Bennett

The following short extracts will give you a ‘flavour’ of what Richard has written –

“under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Project STOQ (Science, Technology, and the Ontological Quest) co-sponsored an international conference to mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. It held the five-day conference from March 3-7, 2009, at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University. The title for the conference was “Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories: A Critical Appraisal 150 Years after The Origin of Species.” The purpose of the conference was stated straightforwardly. It was to focus “on the possibility to reconcile in the same philosophical position the ‘Creation’ thinking and the ‘Evolution’ thinking, without the first pretending to be a scientific theory nor the second being reduced to a dogma.”(3)

According to the London Times, “Msgr. Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, which co-organized the conference with Notre Dame University in Indiana and support from the John Templeton Foundation, said there was ‘no a priori incompatibility between evolution and the message of the Bible.’”(4) The head of the Pontifical Council for Culture could take this position because the primary authority for all Catholics is the dogmas taught by the reigning Pope. (5)  TheTimes further noted that, “The Vatican has rejected the claim by Richard Dawkins, the biologist and campaigning atheist, that evolution proves that God does not exist, proclaiming that on the contrary Darwinian evolution and the account of Creation in Genesis are ‘perfectly compatible.’

The current change in the Vatican’s position began with the 1950 teaching of Pope Pius XII. Later, Pope John Paul II, in his 1996 address to the Pontifical Academy for Sciences, said that the theory of evolution was “more than a hypothesis.”** Since then the Vatican agenda has attempted consistently to negate the truth expressed in the very first verse in the Bible.

(3) Broken link

 
 

(4) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith.article 5859797.ece 4/7/2009

(5) The Roman Catholic Church has as its authority both “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture” (Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) Para. 80, 82). When there is a discrepancy between the Scripture and their tradition, the reigning pope makes the judgment as to what Catholics shall believe regarding any subject because it is claimed that he is infallible. “The Supreme Pontiff, in virtue of his office, possesses infallible teaching authority when, as supreme pastor…he proclaims with a definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held as such.” Catechism, Para 891. Emphasis not in original  

** For a fuller insight into these developments I would then recommend you to take time to read the further article by Richard Bennett located on http://www.bereanbeacon.org/articles.php?link=?name=Articles and entitled

Rome’s Theistic Evolutionary Philosophy

By Richard Bennett

Finally I would direct you to the short article located on http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19956961/ns/world_news-europe/t/pope-creation-vs-evolution-clash-absurdity/ and the following is the opening paragraph from that article and I have highlighted in red the words that show that Dr McCrory’s article is most certainly ‘Echoing the “Vatican View” on Evolution and Creation’ – the paragraph reads –

Pope Benedict XVI said (25/7/2007) the debate raging in some countries — particularly the United States and his native Germany — between creationism and evolution was an “absurdity,” saying that evolution can coexist with faith.

Finally I want to briefly address some thoughts on Dr McCrory and Presbyterian ‘standards’. Over 20 years ago I served for a short time as an elder in a Presbyterian church. At my ordination I had to publicly affirm that The Bible was my supreme Standard of Faith and that The Westminster Confession of Faith was my subordinate Standard of Faith. I would assume (but am willing to be corrected if wrong) that Presbyterian ministers would have to at some stage make a similar public declaration.

Prior to being ordained as an elder I did mention that I had a problem over the matter of ‘Baptism’ as by that stage in my Christian life I was holding to the position of ‘believer’s baptism’ rather than ‘infant baptism. I was told that in conscience I could mentally ‘opt out’ where that particular matter was concerned and so I went forward for ordination. In due course however, for a number of reasons including the rather, as I now viewed it, meaningless affirmation concerning the Westminster Confession of Faith that any section of it could be overridden ‘in conscience’, I resigned as an elder. 

Where Presbyterian ministers are concerned, what is the point of them making such public affirmations concerning The Bible and The Westminster Confession of Faith if subsequently they then proceed to preach and teach from the pulpit the ‘compatibility’ of the theory of evolution with what God’s Word reveals, with what the Westminster Confession of Faith declares and with what The Catechisms teach on the subject of creation. In conscience I personally could not do such a thing.

The Westminster Confession of Faith in Chapter 4 concerning Creation states the following – ‘It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, [1] for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, [2] in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good. [3]

1 HEBREWS 1:2 (God) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. JOH 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. GENESIS 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. JOB 26:13 By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. 33:4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

2 ROMANS 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. JEREMIAH 10:12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. PSALM 104:24 O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. 33:5 He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. 6 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

3 All of GENESIS 1; HEBREWS 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. COLOSSIANS 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. ACTS 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.

The Westminster Confession continues ‘After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female, [4] with reasonable and immortal souls, [5] endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after His own image; [6] having the law of God written in their hearts, [7]

4 GENESIS 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

5 GENESIS 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. ECCLESIASTES 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. LUKE 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. MATTHEW 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

6 GENESIS 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. COLOSSIANS 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. EPHESIANS 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

7 ROMANS 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.

The Larger Catechism asks in Question 15‘What is the work of creation?’ and the answer is given as – ‘The work of creation is that wherein God did in the beginning, by the word of His power, make of nothing the world and all things therein, for Himself, within the space of six days, and all very good’.

The Larger Catechism goes on to ask in Question 17 ‘How did God create man?’ and the answer is given as – ‘After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female, formed the body of man of the dust of the ground, and the woman of the rib of the man, endued them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls, made them after His own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfil it, and dominion over the creatures, yet subject to fall’.

The Bible, The Westminster Confession of Faith and The Catechisms (both Larger that I have quoted from and also The Shorter) make no room for a rival, God dishonouring account of origins such as that posited by the Theory of Evolution. Any such ‘alternative’ account of origins is very much the ‘enemy’ of the One True God who created all things as stated in His inspired, inerrant and infallible Word.

I cannot comprehend how such men are allowed to publicly avow one thing and then ‘in conscience’ are allowed to shred what God has revealed to those whom He created. We live in days when church discipline is virtually non-existent and as a result destructive heresies such as belief in evolution are allowed to flourish within the professing church. I once heard a saying that went something like this ‘When discipline leaves the Church, Christ goes with it’ – there’s a great deal of truth in that.

Let me just repeat what I said earlier that Billy Graham once reportedly said, ‘God said it, I believe it, that settles it’. I TOTALLY disagree with that – if ‘God said it THAT settles it’ whether I choose to believe it or not.

In conclusion I would love to know where Dr McCrory (and creation-deniers who hold to theistic evolution) stands on God’s future ‘new creation’. In Revelation 21:5 God says “Behold I make all things new” and we could link that to what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:51- 52“Behold I show you a mystery… In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed”. Changed into what you might ask – well again we refer to what Paul wrote in Philippians 3:20-21 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we look for the saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like his glorious body”.

Does Dr McCrory believe that ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye’ really means what it says or does he believe that what is said about God’s ‘new creation’, like his heretically permissive broad view of God’s ‘original creation’, allows for  it to evolve over millions of years in clear contradiction of what God’s Word reveals?

In writing an article that states ‘Why Evolution Is Not Our Enemy’ Dr McCrory has shown himself to be “neither cold nor hot” (Revelation 3:15) and clearly the Lord has no taste for such as we read in the following verse, Revelation 3:16. To any true believers inMaynooth Community Church the Lord’s command to them is “be zealous therefore and repent” (Revelation 3:19).

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 7th May 2012

 

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