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Married to Darwin

For the sake of the children, must we abandon Genesis?

Married to Darwin

(Krieg Barrie)

Nashville, a fine 1975 film directed by Robert Altman, features a song about a marriage maintained “for the sake of the children.” That song runs through my head when I hear church-connected evolutionists claiming that kids taught Darwin was wrong will abandon Christianity. 

You can see the Nashville lyrics at lyrics.net/lyric/3560410, and you can listen to my reworking, performed by WORLD interns Ryan Hill and Emily Scheie, in the video clip below. The song is now what a theistic evolutionist might sing: 

Unpack your bags and try not to cry. / I can’t give up Darwin—there’s three reasons why. / There’s Jimmy, and Kathy, and sweet Lorelei: / For the sake of the children, we must say goodbye.

’Cos Jimmy has fear that he’d blow his career / His bio term paper is something to see. / And Kathy’s eighteen now, a sorority queen now, / And I will protect what her major will be. So unpack your bags. …

Sure I love Scripture, I’m not just a hipster, / But I’ve got to stay with what now has such cred. / Laurie’s just walkin’, she just started talkin’, / Evolution’s the first word that she ever said! So unpack your bags. …

Will some college students turn from the Bible if professors push Darwin and their pastors push back? Yes, some will, especially if they believe that science demands faith in evolution. But science does not—see, for example, the Center for Science and Culture website at discovery.org/csc. Furthermore, science is not the only source of knowledge about the world: God created science, and the Bible teaches us about God.

Or does it? We might think chapter 2 of Genesis teaches that “God formed the man of dust from the ground,” and Eve from Adam—but if they were the product of evolution, then early Genesis becomes a myth, and everyone who assumed the history to be true (including Jesus and Paul) were naive. Original sin becomes a theoretical construct rather than harsh reality, so why do we desperately need Christ? 

If for the sake of the children we can’t give up Darwin, and if by doing so the kids don’t turn their backs on the Bible, they have a Bible with lots of pages torn out and its overarching theme—creation, fall, and redemption—slashed. If we jettison Genesis, Jesus who made miracles will eventually go too. Jimmy, Kathy, and sweet Lorelei may go to church a bit longer, but they’ll eventually find a more amusing club.

What’s the alternative? Theistic evolutionists say we must bend or die, but when we bend on something so basic, where do we stop? Is our chief task to glorify our Creator or to be glorified by other creatures? When Darwin trumps the Bible, what are we worshipping? 

This spring I reported on a tempest at Bryan College. The administration and board of trustees did not want professors to profess theistic evolution. Many faculty members thought administrators and trustees acted high-handedly, even deceptively, by clarifying the Genesis-affirming statement of faith to stipulate that God specially created Adam and Eve, “and not from previous life-forms.” I don’t know the nuances of the procedural questions but I do know what happens when colleges slip-slide away from the biblical position on what man is and what God does. (See “Soaping the slippery slope,” WORLD, Aug. 25, 2012.)

Since the theological issue is so central I emphasized it rather than the organizational one, and some twitter feeds swelled with complaints. I enjoyed one tweet that semi-defended me: “Olasky wants to do good and has often reported well. With certain hobby horses.” Hmm: two out of three, not bad. But it got me to consider two hobby horses over the years: WORLD’s defense of the Bible during translation controversies, and WORLD’s emphasis on creation rather than evolution. They have in common a belief that the Bible is God’s Word, so we are wrong to smooth off what to some are rough edges.

Therefore, we should sing to theistic evolutionists, “Pack up your bags and try not to cry. / The Bible trumps Darwin, there’s three reasons why. / The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost too, / For the sake of the children, we must teach what’s true.”

Email molasky@wng.org

Comments

  • Jeff Grubbs
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    AMEN Brother!!

  • Tonytheologian
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Hey all, love you with the love of The Lord!  I believe the bible (genesis) to be the inspired word of God. I do not believe it is a science book. The Bible tells me WHY God created; not HOW God created.  I'll  leave that to the scientists and dispute them when they claim our meaning and happiness is found in something other than my loving creator and redeemer. 

  • DC
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Thanks, Marvin, Teach the controversy. Seems to have kept my kids on track. I gave them my beliefs so they could sort it out, with one sticking with deistic evolution, the most ardent Christian of my kids. It's such a small matter. Even Freshman bio has about 5% of the total grade coming from those ideas. If you teach both sides, they can still give the prof what he wants with a caveat of personal opinion dropped in a personal note to the professor later. Such minor issues are blown up into huge fear factors by ardent atheists and narrow pastors.  The DNA and the Big Bang can provide proof positive that  the evolution that occured was divinely driven. Once there, the special creation of man may or may not have drawn on special soils or earthly elements. It's not really knowable, except that we do have common gene structures, so the similarities are there whether we  believe they were from earthly soil or derived from prior designs. 

  • Richard L
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Thanks Mr Olasky - Amen and Amen - the Truth does matter - always has and always will!

  • Buddy's picture
    Buddy
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    With God a day is as a thousand years, so Adam died within that day.
    17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen 2:17 (KJV)
    5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. Gen 5:5 (KJV)
    8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8 (KJV)
    4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Psalms 90:4 (KJV)

  • Adam Peck
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Amen.  Thanks for your unswerving stand on the word of God.  

  • Buddy's picture
    Buddy
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8 (KJV)
    4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Psalms 90:4 (KJV)

  • morgandcga
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Thanks Richard H for your question.  It seems to me that this is either a trick question (as Genesis 5:5 gives the answer) or a lead in to another question. :)  I'll try and answer it.  Adam's body is recorded as dying (soul separated from the body) at 930 years (In all, Adam lived 930 years, and he died. Gen 5:5).  John Wesley said in one of his sermons, that Adam's soul died the second he ate of the fruit (soul separated from God).  Thoughts?

  • Richard H's picture
    Richard H
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    morgandcgaHow long did Adam live? 

  • Guy
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Great piece, I love how you show the importance of belief in creation as a part of belief in redemption. As an aside, besides those of us that have the Lord's word there are many secular critics of Darwin. David Berlinski who is not a follower of Jesus is one of them. He has a lot of video's available. There is one here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5r5cRlctLM. You can tell he is hitting the mark because Berlinski's critics use ad hominems when they criticize him. 

  • morgandcga
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Thank you Homeschool Lady and nsmithcpa for taking the time to answer my questions.  Today, the latest scientific majority hold to the old earth theory.  It is comforting to know that at one time in cosmology, the Steady State Theory of the universe's origin reigned supreme (the universe had no beginning - obviously an affront to Genesis).  The Big Bang Theory obsoleted the Steady State Theory.  At least the Big Bang Theory allows for a finite beginning (as does Genesis).  Perhaps one day, the old earth theory may become obsolete in cosmology as well.  Either way, I am still going to spend my time arguing for the empty tomb and the resurrected Christ.  Blessings on you both, and again, thanks for your time.

  • Anonymous (not verified)
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Very timely piece Marvin.  Once we begin to tear out pages there is no stopping point.

  • nsmithcpa
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    morgandcga, I believe the days of Genesis 1 to be literal, "normal" days, both due to the OT usage of yom as discussed by homeschoollady's earlier post, and as I believe the analogy between the week of creation and the week of work in Exodus 20:8-11 demands it. God's illustration of His creation in 6 literal days and then a day of rest serves as the foundation for His commandment for the people of Israel to do the same. Further, millions of years of dinosaurs killing and eating each other would seem to strike a fatal blow against the gospel account of death and destruction only entering the world through the sin of man. 

  • Homeschool lady's picture
    Homeschool lady
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    morgancdga:  Well, the question you asked me was answered already and I see no reason to correct that perfectly good answer.  But there is a very good reason to take the day as a little sunrise-to-sunset day (I won't say 24 hours because you're right, it varies where you are on the globe).  The Hebrew word for day in Genesis is yom, which always refers to a literal day when used with a number or the words "evening and morning".  Genesis uses both.  Furthermore, the same word is used in Joshua with only a number for reference (the number of days the Israelites marched around Jericho).  Not even skeptics say that was meant to mean more than an actual day.  Why claim that in Genesis, where the Hebrew word is more specifically qualified, the word day means millions of years?  Oh and regarding Adam and Eve, they were probably only in the Garden a short period of time before being "evicted", for the reasons that nsmithcpa mentioned.

  • morgandcga
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    You assume many things about me GTPman (i.e. my gender by addressing me as Mr. - you got that one right - and that I believe in evolution - you got that one wrong).  I regard Genesis 1 and 2 as not only historical narrative (because Christ viewed Genesis that way and quoted both Genesis 1 and 2 when he taught on divorce) but also as setting up the story for Christ (the second Adam) and His Bride (the church).  The reason for my "persistent needling" (first time ever commenting at World) is I was trying to refute Jim Hasack's claim that the Bible gave an age of the earth.  This claim is not supported by the biblical text, yet I see young earth creationists willing to die on that hill defending it.  The age of the earth is irrelevant to that which is of first importance namely from 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.  I imagine you and most people on this site would agree with me about that which is of first importance, so I encourage us all to remember that knowing the age of the earth will not save anyone, but the gospel message will.  As iron sharpens iron, so friends sharpen each other's faces Proverbs 27:17.  I was sharpened today by nsmithcpa's comments that Adam and Woman were probably not in the garden all that long; however, I have yet to hear reasons to think an evening and a morning in the Genesis account is a 24 hour day.  At the north pole, the time between sunup and sundown is 182.7 days. Time is relative based on point of reference (time dilation).  For the sake of the children, we must never abandon Genesis, and we must never add things to the scriptures that are not there.  Blessings on you and I as we continue as ambassadors for Christ.

  • SuperBoppy
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Jesus Himself validated the historical account of Adam and Eve (Matt. 19:4). If Jesus was not telling the truth, then why should we believe Him or anything else in the Bible?

  • GTPman
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Mr. "morgandcga", the apparent cordiality of your persistent needling seems to indicate that you take issue that the first chapters of Genesis should be regarded as straightforward historical narrative.  Perhaps what appears to you to be contradictory are your "reasons to believe" evolution.  My suspicion is that God wasn't constrained by what you consider contradictory or irreconcilable.  I also strongly suspect that God is able to keep perfect time without referencing time markers we commonly resort to, probably better even than the NIST.  It might be that He that spoke through the prophets at many times and in many ways is just up to the task of informing accurating at least the sequence of His creative acts, provided you accept such a God.   I do suspect that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in evolutions bloody philosophy.

  • GTPman
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Theistic evolutionists seem to spend more time, at least publicly, opposing Christian creationists than winning souls.  They claim that their "ministry" is to give "reasons to believe" to scientifically attuned moderns, but I see too many stories about TE's abandoning Christian orthodoxy because they cannot reconcile naturalism with theism.  Every atheist laughs in their cuff at them for clinging to their delusions, knowing that they will come around in time.  I also fail to understand why TE's accept that they can tell the "story of cosmic and biological evolution" in terms even a child can understand, yet cannot seem to accept that the Creator of human linguistic ability can tell the sequence of His creative acts so that even a child can understand.  Like Darwin who assured us that the world only seems to be designed, TE's assure us that Genesis only seems to be historical.  Whyever should I embrace everything about the Christ as historically conditioned if He is not also historically, that is, genetically, linked to Adam?  We might just as well become disciples of the brothers Grimm.

  • Narissara
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Buddy, you wrote, "The biggest threat to truth and Christianity around the world is the theory of evolution.  With man being the highest life form it turns man into god.  I wonder how many people have thought of the spirit of the antichrist being in the theory of evolution."I would add that evolution is a threat to humanity itself.  Satan hates that we're created in the image of God and will do anything to harm His special creation.  Increasingly I see couples who are products of an evolutionary belief system who don't know how to parent their young children except to treat them as pets (or strays, as the case may be) and bark one-word commands at them.  (They haven't evolved to the point of being capable of understanding any more than that, you see.)  These parents don't recognize that the God who gave them that child already knows what kind of person he will grow into and can't make the commitment to letting God use them over the next eighteen years to get him there.  Instead they set themselves up as gods by trying to shape their children into what they want them to be -- which, from what I've observed recently, seems to be whatever will cause them the least amount of inconvenience. 

  • morgandcga
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Thanks nsmithcpa!  Excellent points which support a short time for Adam and Woman to be in the garden before the fall.  Follow up question: Are the creation days mentioned in Genesis 1 twenty-four hour earth days?  Before answering, please note that the Sun and the Moon are not created until the fourth day.  

  • nsmithcpa
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    morgandcga, given that 1) they were give a command to "be fruitful and multiply", 2) were still sinless and so were inclined to obey God's commands perfectly, and 3) did not conceive any children before the fall, I would say a very short period of time.

  • morgandcga
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Thanks Homeschool lady!  A follow up question: How long were Adam and Woman in the garden before they ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree (thus committing the first sin which brought death into the created world)?  30 years or 4.54 billion years?

  • Homeschool lady's picture
    Homeschool lady
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    morgandcga:  There is no explicit verse in the Bible that gives an age of the earth.  However, if you add up the lifespans in genealogies present in Genesis and later books in the Bible (sometimes you have to approximate the length of a generation, but very little guesswork is involved), you end up with an age of approximately 6,000 years.  The early church fathers and even orthodox Jews today agree that these genealogies provide an accurate age.

  • morgandcga
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Jim Hasak, what does the Bible depict as the age of the earth? What scriptures do you cite? Thanks!

  • Jim Hasak
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Thanks, Marvin.One cannot set the Genesis account of creation aside without also ignoring portions of the New Testament. One notable example appears in the "Heroes of Faith" chapter: "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible" (Heb 11:3). A few verses later we read that "without faith it is impossible to please God."By the way, I know that in the past, "World" has not supported belief in a relatively young earth. I hope you will bear in mind that the concept of long ages arose solely from the desire to promote evolution. As a scientist, I have yet to see any evidence proving that the earth is a single day longer than what is depicted in the Bible.

  • Jimbo
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    THE DIRTY SECRET IN OUR UNIVERSITIES. "The eugenics movement which was easily the most spectacular example of Darwinian Hard Men (Hitler etc. Editor) struggling manfully to keep the inevitable from going wrong (survival of the fittest, Editor). This movement stemmed originally from the writing of Darwin himself (although you were not then, and are not now supposed to say so). ". Says David Stove, University of Sydney & University of South Wales in his book Darwinian Fairytales. 99% of college students do not know of the connection between Darwin and Hitler, Mao, Marx and Stalin and all their bloodshed or that Darwin was a full-blown racist

  •  C Hill's picture
    C Hill
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Wow, those interns are almost as strong as your argument! Thanks for letting Ryan sleep on your couch.

  • Bix
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

     As a 62 y.o. practicing Family Practice doctor, having worked in Africa, and seen much of the world, making a decent living in a middle class practice with no gimmicks, in "main-stream" medicine, I am often amused (sadly) to read how all of "modern science" is built on the theory of Evolution.  There is absolutely nothing that I know of medicine, the human body, diseases, human nature, psycho-social-cultural observations that is not better understood by a recent Creation, by an Infinite God, and a subsequent Fall than by Evolution.  Thanks, MO, for pointing out and focusing on the obvious.

  • Buddy's picture
    Buddy
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    It is so wonderful to read were truth is over coming deception. The biggest threat to truth and Christianity around the world is the theory of evolution. With man being the highest life form it turns man into god. I wonder how many people have thought of the spirit of antichrist being in the theory of evolution.
    12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph 6:12 (KJV)
    18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 1 John 2:18 (KJV)
    22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:22 (KJV)
    3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 1 John 4:3 (KJV)
    7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 2 John 1:7 (KJV)

  • Lew_in_the_world
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    I like your logic, but your poetry trumps it all.

  • merit
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Evolution was intended (by Darwin) to dismiss God from life and teaching it as fact has that effect on the students.  But leaving an overarching creator, sustainer, judge and provider out of life leads to the self-centered, self-serving, often criminal behavior now exhibited by young and middle-aged America.    But science is now pointing clearly away from evolution as fact.  There's no need to present early Biblical history as myth, poetry or even something to accept exclusively by faith since modern science (not scientists) has grown in knowledge so as to begin conforming to the transcendental cause (God) as being the initiator of the universe and of us.  The probabilistic barriers to scientific naturalism as a cause for origins of anything (matter, energy, life, spirit, etc.) are insurmountable.  Most of us have presuppositions about Scripture but reading the Bible carefully, without presuppositions, is always the best way to learn God's truth.  Details of one scientist's views (one who supports neither young earth theory no theistic evolution) of origins and sustenance of the universe may be found in "Navigating Genesis: A scientist's journey through Genesis 1-11" by Dr. Hugh Ross.  Young children won't comprehend the scientific details presented there but as they grow in knowledge they will not find it necessary to unlearn a myth but will instead find scientific facts consistent with the Bible.  No cognitive dissonance will be forced upon them.  Instead the scientific, wonderful facts of of an infinitely powerful yet gracious Creator-God can support faith rather than tax it.

  • David B
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:00 pm

    Thanks, Marvin, for a great editorial piece. I'm wondering if part of the problem with losing our children to the world is that we tell the creation and flood stories like they were fairy tales with happy endings. We must teach these biblical truths within the framework of "creation-fall-redemption."