It may come as a surprise to some, but up until eight or nine years ago, I was a theistic evolutionist.
While I based my faith on the Bible, I believed in the plausibility of evolution and that God might have used evolution as a mechanism for biological development and change.
I also believed that you couldn't take the Genesis creation account of six 24-hour days literally; I believed those were probably vast, unspecified ages that involved millions or billions of years.
In short, I was trying to reconcile my faith in science (or the interpretation of facts being presented by the scientific community) to my faith in God. I thought the reconciliation was going quite nicely...until I set foot in the middle of a huge creation science conference being presented by Answers in Genesis or the Institute for Creation Research (I can't remember which).
Within an hour or two of being exposed to scientific and Biblical information I had no idea existed, I quickly realized my fence-sitting days were over.
When I believed the Bible and theistic evolution were compatible, I was unaware of two critical issues regarding theistic evolution and vast ages:
(1) the theological contradictions of such a position—in other words, if it were true, then foundational teachings of the Bible were false
(2) there were not only theories which could explain the scientific evidence we observe on earth and in our universe--and do so in harmony with what the Bible tell us--but the evidence fits those theories better than it does evolution and vast ages
Since then, I have devoured most everything I could get my hands on regarding this subject. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that a believe in evolution and vast ages is not only theologically untenable, it's downright anti-intellectual.
Let me say this for the record: I have no interest in being wrong. I'd rather abandon a wrong idea and embrace a correct one than try to perpetuate a bad idea because I'm unwilling to admit I was wrong. Yeah, there's a little embarrassment in admitting you were wrong, but there's even more in clinging to a bad idea like a raft that's full of holes.
What brought this to mind (and this blog) was a post I read this morning from Answers in Genesis (they'll be doing a weekend presentation in Rapid City March 30-31) that I believe was in their December newsletter.
The post I read makes some salient points worth reiterating here.
The age of the earth is a vital doctrine. It’s important because acceptance of millions of years:
-contradicts Genesis’ clear teaching about the age of the earth. (The days of creation were literal days because Genesis 1 defines them as such in verses 5 and 14, Genesis 1 numbers them and associates them with “evening and morning;” Genesis 5 and 11 teach that those days were only about 2,000 years before Abraham, who lived 2,000 BC);
-undermines the Bible’s teaching that Adam’s sin brought death to the human race (and animals) with God’s curse on the whole creation;
-undermines the gospel message that Christ came to die to solve the problem of sin and redeem the whole creation from the Curse;
-assaults the character of God (the God described in the Bible could not use a creation process that involved millions of years of death, disease, and extinction of animals for no moral reason ... and which He then called “very good”);
-involves the acceptance of anti-biblical philosophical/religious assumptions that are at the root of this millions-of-years idea.
Now if you're an atheist, little of this probably matters to you.
But if you call yourself a Christian, this should matter to you quite a bit, because none of those issues listed can be taken lightly. Because if that little book you sometimes tote under your arm to church is worth believing (and one would think you believe that, since in calling yourself a Christian, you have put your faith in some of its claims), then you should be aware that the Bible upon which you base your faith is incompatible with the doctrine of evolution and vast ages.
When I say "incompatible," let me be clear as to what I mean: one or the other can be true, but not both. Just like 2+2 has one definitive answer, there can be only one right answer here.
Chad, if you're reading this, I'm sure you're thrilled to have fresh meat with which to mock me, but that's alright. Rather than indulge the satisfaction of mocking you for being obtuse and close-minded, I'll wait patiently in the hopes you might eventually approach the issue objectively and examine the facts based on their merits, rather than what some intellectual in a white coat has told you the merits are.
I encourage you, CCK, and anyone else reading this, to try and make your way to Rapid City on March 30-31 and check out the AIG presentation. If it's unconvincing to you, then you have fresh, first-hand material with which to ridicule creationists. But maybe, just maybe, if it makes some sense to you, you might get an opening glimpse at a truth and a reality which will blow your mind.
If you're more interested in learning the truth than in clinging to a politically-correct scientific myth, read some of the material at www.answersingenesis.org, and come to the conference in March.
Otherwise, I guess we can assume your head is warm and comfortable there in the sand...