Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Listen in to the ReformedCast Today
03/21/2011 - James WhiteJust a quick note: I will be on the ReformedCast discussing apologetics tonight at 7pm EDT here. The program will then be posted here. Listen in!
What's the Biggest Problem with Theistic Evolution?
03/21/2011 - Tur8infan
Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
There are a variety of problems with theistic evolution. For example, there are exegetical problems with it, in that you're simply not going to get theistic evolution in any fair way from the text of Scripture.
The exegetical problems are huge. The plain meaning of the text of Genesis 1 tells a story of creation within one week. Later, in Exodus, this one week creation account serves as the explanation for the weekly sabbath. Moreover, as if anticipating a possible misunderstanding about the meaning of the word "day," Genesis 1 even provides a definition for us (evening and morning).
Yet some will still try to argue that the series of days can somehow be matched up with a big-bang cosmology and a theistic or deistic version of Darwinian evolution. It can be tough to persuade folks who have bought into that line of reasoning that they are not properly interpreting Genesis 1.
From my own perspective, the biggest problem for theistic evolution is the special creation of man. The Bible tells us:
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.
This special creation of man denies common descent. It affirms that man was created from the dust and then ensouled: life breathed into him by God. And yet this is only half of the problem. The other half is the creation of Eve:
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Like Adam, Eve was not descended from pre-human ancestors -- not born to non-human parents. Instead, like Adam, Eve was specially created. That's what the Bible says, and that's what we ought to believe.
In my discussions with people, it seems easier to help them see that the special creation of man is inconsistent with theistic evolution, than it is to help them see that Genesis 1 is inconsistent with theistic evolution. Perhaps as you discuss this fundamental of the faith with people, you may be able to help them see that theistic evolution is wrong from Genesis 2, even if they have a firmly established misunderstanding of Genesis 1.
Perhaps you can help them to see that the theory of evolution is not based on the revelation of God, but on the foolishness of men who have turned from the Creator to the creation -- with theistic evolution simply being an attempt to provide a synthesis of that worldly thought and the truth.
Romans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Conducting Debate to the Glory of God
03/19/2011 - James WhiteMy thanks to Trinity Law School and esp. Lane Chaplin for arranging this evening recently in Southern California.
The Biggest Problem with Apologists in the US....
03/14/2011 - James White
Thinking Critically About Biblical Criticism
03/10/2011 - Tur8infanThese days books alleging Biblical contradictions are seemingly seeing a resurgence in popularity. Many of these books, it seems, are recycling old alleged Biblical contradictions - contradictions that Christians answered hundreds of years ago. Yet these books are not presenting the answers, only the alleged contradictions. One is reminded of the words of Arnobius, who died in the 4th century, just after the council of Nicaea.
Arnobius (d. 330):
All these charges, or to label them for what they actually are, these diatribes, have long ago been answered with all the detail and accuracy required, by men who are masters in this field and who are entitled to know the truth in the matter; and no single point of any question has been passed over without being subjected to rebuttal in a thousand ways and on the strongest grounds. Therefore, there is no need to linger longer on this part of the case. For neither is truth unable to stand without supporters, nor will the fact that the Christian religion has found many to agree with it and has gained weight from human approval prove it true. It is satisfied to rest its case upon its own strength and upon the basis of its own truth. It is not despoiled of its force though it have no defender, no, not even if every tongue oppose it and struggle against it and, united in hatred, conspire to destroy faith in it.Ancient Christian Writers, Arnobius of Sicca, The Case Against the Pagans, Vol. 7, Book 3, Chapter 1 (Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1949), p. 192.
Part of our response can be like that of Arnobius. Yet Christian apologists need to try to think critically about these criticisms and to be prepared to give an answer, even if it has been given before.
With respect to alleged biblical contradictions, one approach is simply to address seriatim the string of alleged Biblical contradictions that are thrown out by the Bart Ehrmans of the world.
There's another approach that may prove handy. That approach is to point out the flawed methodology of skepticism that is being employed. In the following series of posts I've identified four issues that, if presented in separate gospels, would likely lead to the charge of contradictions amongst the gospels. However, in each case, the text in question comes from the same book: 1 Samuel. In various ways, the seeming contradictions are resolved, either by showing that the different accounts simply bring out different aspects, or showing that the different accounts are actually of different events.
1. A King for Israel: Blessing or Judgment?
2. The Crowning of King Saul - Private or Public - Initiated by Samuel or the People?
3. How did "Is Saul Also Among the Prophets?" Become a Parable?
4. When and At Whom did Saul Hurl His Javelin?
The point of those posts is, I hope, to provide some examples that my fellow apologists can bring up to help to show people how easy it can be to allege contradiction simply based on differences in accounts.
Tongues Debate: James White vs. David Bernard
03/07/2011 - James SwanHere's another mp3 that I found recently, currently not available on aomin.org. Around ten years ago, Dr. White appeared on WMCA radio in New York to debate Oneness theologian Dr. David Bernard.
The Gift of Tongues: Is it a Necessary Initial Evidence of Salvation?
Mithra? Attis? Really, Rob Bell?
03/05/2011 - James White
Southern California, Here We Come...
03/05/2011 - James White