Catch Up for the Last Time

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, December 10, 2015 0 comments

by Steve Risner

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next post is here.]

Entering the last installment in this mini-series, we’ll be taking a look at death prior to the Fall as well as a few other things. This is part 5 of a response to’s blog posts called “Ken Ham has a problem with the Bible” and “Why Ken Ham’s defense of young-earth creationism doesn’t make any sense.”

We left off where Tyler was criticizing Ken Ham (which is what he does in nearly every blog post) for his position that the entire Bible is true and that the clear teaching of Genesis is that God created everything in 6 days about 6000 years ago and this truth is foundational to Christianity. If you erode the foundation of something away, you have no support for the rest. This is true for theistic evolution. Let’s take a look…

Let me start here by saying that as a Biblical creationist, I believe the Bible. However, there are many questions I cannot answer. There are some questions I can speculate on, but there are many more I can’t give you an answer to at all. I think that’s okay. Anyone who feels that they know everything is lying to himself. And anyone who believes that not having all the answers means you don’t know what you’re talking about fails to understand the complexities and enormity of the subject at hand. With that, we’ll pick up right where we left off last week with the foundation of the entire need for redemption through Jesus Christ.

Last week, we touched on why physical and spiritual death are essential to the Bible. The Fall (which, to be honest, I’m not sure Tyler believes happened) means we once lived in a state of perfect harmony with God. But, due to disobedience and rebellion, we fell from that position. We are now, with all of creation, subjected to the curse (something else I’m not sure if Tyler agrees is real). Physical death occurring after the Fall is the reason the sacrificial system was instituted. This makes sense, right? Sin required payment by the shedding of blood. If not your blood, then the blood of a sacrifice as outlined by God Himself. Jesus Christ died on a cross. Doesn’t that sound like physical death is the result of sin? The theistic evolutionist may say, “Well, yes, but animal death was before that. This was all about man.” Okay. But how does this make sense? We’re supposed to believe that man was made to never die a physical death in the Garden but all the animals would come and go? I can’t find a reason in the Word to believe this. Then the theistic evolutionist will claim this means that animals would overrun the planet in a short time because they’d constantly reproduce and never die off. I suppose, if you don’t think God knows what He’s doing, that this would make sense. But, to me—and this is one of those areas where no one knows but we can speculate—it’s a moot point. I believe there is good reason to believe the Fall occurred shortly after creation week. The reasoning is simple: God commanded everyone/everything to be fruitful and multiply in Genesis 1:28. This multiplication hadn’t happened for Adam and Eve yet. Keeping that in mind, it seems likely the Fall occurred within the first 9 months after the creation week. This is just speculation, but it seems to fit the available evidence we have. So the entire discussion on whether or not animals could die before the Fall, for me, really doesn’t even matter. I realize theistic evolutionists will discount anything in Genesis (or the Bible for that matter) that they believe is over spoken or out of the ordinary, but the whole story rests on a natural reading of Genesis. His theology REQUIRES death before man was created and mine doesn’t really care. I firmly believe there was no death before the Fall for a few reasons, but if it was possible, it doesn’t really change much for me.

Later on, Tyler gets into his next point more, but we’ll touch on it here. He claims the Biblical creationist's position means that Jesus died for your precious little FiFi and that she’ll be in heaven with you. This is nonsense. It does NOT indicate that animals can be saved. They are not created in the image of God. They do not have a spirit. The passage of Scripture does not indicate animals will be in heaven. It stands to reason that if God created a perfect world where man could not die, that animals didn’t die either. But either way, it makes no difference. Man messed up way too early for any death to occur. And if the claim then is that physical death was not part of this thing, why is something required to die to pay the price for sin, including Jesus?

But he goes on to say, “This means the ‘first death,’ — the physical, natural death we will all die before the resurrection — is not a punishment for anything, but simply an inherent part of the current created order — part of the ‘old order of things’ that Revelation also talks about.” Spiritual death occurred immediately upon disobedience. Yet something still must die to pay the penalty—this is what the sacrificial system was based on, and it’s why death as a result of sin is crucial to the story of redemption.

So Tyler begins to wrap up with this: “I think the person who has the ‘problem with the Bible’ is the one who teaches that young-earthism — something that the Bible never says is foundational to the Christian faith — is foundational to the Christian faith.” Foundational to the Christian faith are the first chapters of Genesis. Not because they impart some spiritual truth, even though the stories are true, but because the accounts are real and this makes the spiritual truth real. ALL of Christian doctrine rests on the Biblical creationist view on Genesis. All of it. I'd be interested in reading a response to that. Check this out to see a very good look at how important a natural reading of Genesis is. To name only a few, we have the existence of God, the all-powerful and all-knowing nature of God, the Creator God, the Fall of man, the institution of sacrifice for atonement and therefore the plan of redemption through Jesus Christ, the existence of Satan, what sin is, what the cost of sin is, how God feels about sin, why we wear clothing, why we have a 7-day week, what marriage is, the separations of peoples and languages, and so many other things. Literally all of the New Covenant doctrines come from Genesis and its first few chapters.

In closing, we read the crux of the problem. I wish they’d get this. Tyler says something that rather exquisitely exposes his dysfunction in this discussion. He says, “Theistic evolutionists who acknowledge — rather than ignore — the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution and the age of the earth, and who seek to integrate it with our faith in a way that still allows the word of God to be treated with respect and continue to serve as a repository for many, many deep and profound truths about God, man and the relationship between the two.” Now, to be sure, there are at least 3 major issues with this statement. One is that there is no such thing as “overwhelming evidence” for evolution or for the age of the earth. We’ve covered this time and again and evolutionists, I believe, willfully ignore this point simply because it means the rest of their claims can be seen for what they are—illogical and nothing more than a religion. Put side by side with Christianity, theistic evolution cannot stand at all. He's committed a classic bait and switch here and he likely doesn't even realize it. There is evidence to support that populations of organisms can adapt to their environments. We've seen this. This isn't anti-Biblical. What he means when he says “evolution” is this. But what he wants you to think is that this means the religion of Darwinism—aka molecules to man evolution—is just as easily found in the evidence. This is obviously not correct. Adaptation and “simple” living things becoming whales, humans, alligators, and humming birds are not the same thing. He also claims Biblical creationists ignore evidence. That's just disingenuous or dishonest. The third issue is that he states that he’s treating the Bible with respect while throwing a great deal of it out as fiction. The claim that the creation and Fall are mythical means Jesus died for a myth and/or He Himself was a myth as well. This is not treating the Bible with respect or valuing its teachings. It’s picking what you like and rejecting what you dislike simply to have it both ways.

The Word makes several statements about compromise. You can read Romans 12. Try Joshua 24:14-15 “...if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (which is very applicable here since Tyler says “…the God of Genesis 6-9 doesn’t really sound like God to me.”) Romans 1:25 is also very applicable here: “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.” 1 Kings 18:21 says, “Elijah went before the people and said, 'How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.'” And 2 Corinthians 6:14 warns us, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

And with that, we conclude this mini-series. Thanks for taking the time to wade through this with me.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.