Christians are often criticized for not caring that their beliefs contradict the natural record. And the criticisms are in many cases spot on- but not because there is a real contradiction. Rather, the criticisms are accurate when we Christians fail to critically challenge our long-held beliefs and understandings.
We all make mistakes and errors in judgment. The only way we can continually grow is by challenging ourselves – through observations of both scripture and nature. Yet too often, we fail to either observe, or to let those observations convict us of the truth.
One of our big sources of failure is intellectual laziness. This is illustrated by analogy to job hunting- you do a lot of work to find the “right job” for you, but once you find it, you get into a routine around your workday and (barring some crisis) you don’t see a need to question whether the job is still right for you. Why keep searching for the “right job” – or the “correct faith” – after you have found it?
While this behavior is easy to empathize with, we’re commanded to do better when it comes to our Christian walk: “Always be ready to give an answer for the faith that is within you.” In other words, God expects us to go through life with our eyes open, thinking critically about His revelation, both in written and natural form.
Another reason that people may shy away from scientific challenges to their faith is fear, at some level, that if they allow themselves to critically question that faith, that it might not stand up to the scrutiny.
If this thought convicts you, rest assured that there are good answers to the questions raised by skeptics: how can modern Bible translations be true to the original texts? What about the dinosaurs? And so on. Personally, I find the answers from Walt Brown quite compelling, even if there may be some room for honest debate even among Christians. Also check out the Answers in Genesis website.
Having said that, most of the critics posing questions aren’t actually looking for answers. Evolution scientists start with the idea that God cannot exist, and then go from there under the Sherlock Holmes principle that, “once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever is left, however improbable, must be the truth.” The problem is determining what is impossible to begin with – and therefore what should be eliminated at the start. An honest observer cannot actually eliminate anything. In truth, these worldly types just don’t want God to exist, as this means that they will be held accountable. So, they bully and mock their Christian opponents into silence. They carry on as if their worldview is the only one worth having, the only justifiable one. (Not surprisingly, Doyle wrote other works besides the Holmes stories that drew heavily on a belief in evolutionary origins of life.)
Personally, I like to turn the tables on these types. Don’t let them bully you. Don’t let them take the intellectual high ground. They mock your faith, but their belief in life’s spontaneous genesis is no more credible than your belief in creation by an intelligent designer. In fact, given the probabilities involved, it is significantly less so.
This last point is worth an article or two in itself but in the meantime, I would encourage you to check out the documentary film “Expelled”, in which Ben Stein rips into evolutionists and their desperate desire to exclude God from the story of life’s origins. It’s intellectually honest, and for me at least, deeply satisfying to confirm that my beliefs are founded in evidence and reason. And with resources like these, there truly is no excuse for any of us to be unprepared to give reason for the hope within us.
Join us this coming Sunday as Pastor Will brings us this message from 2 Corinthians 5:17 – God is doing a new thing.
Yours in Christ,