The Series Wrap-Up: Straw Men, Cherry Picking, and Milk Drinkers

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, June 9, 2016 0 comments

by Steve Risner

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here.]

This week is an exciting one! It’s the post response wrap-up! Last July I set out to respond to a theistic evolutionist’s claim that he had 10 theological questions no young earth creationist could answer. I decided not to head straight to the questions but take each point he attempted to make from the intro to the closing including the questions. My count says there are just short of 40 installments in this series. If you’ve not followed me through this entire series you can find the first one here if you want to start from the beginning.

So what does one include in the concluding post of such a very long series? Good question. Let’s see where we end up.

Let’s start with the basics: how did this process begin? Before beginning this series, I gave the author of the blog post I was responding to (Tyler Franke) the courtesy of informing him of my intent. I felt like that was just the right thing to do. His response was a little Jekyll and Hyde. He began nice enough, but shortly into his reply, he became rather coarse. I let that go and began writing. About half way through or so, I sent him some links in case he hadn’t seen any of the writings I had done up to that point. I did not receive a response at all to that. However, not long after, I was informed by Charlie Wolcott, a brilliant writer for the Worldview Warriors, that I had indeed caught Tyler’s attention, and that he had decided to write a scathing blog post directed at me and others. I received no alert from this person whatsoever and, to date, have not read a single sentence from this blog post reported to me as filled with vitriol for people he claims to share a Savior with. At no time during my series did I make personal attacks on Tyler. I did criticize his reported beliefs repeatedly, however, at no point do I feel I attacked him personally. Throughout his posts, you can read Tyler’s opinions and how glaringly inconsistent he is. His beliefs are riddled with double standards, nonsensical circular talk, and his disdain for Biblical creation is founded wholly on irrational, made-up arguments, aka straw man arguments. His representations of “young earth” creationism were appalling and it’s hard to believe he has any idea what Biblical creationists believe or what the Bible actually states. His writing is also often less than appropriate and his word choice and imagery is a little too vulgar for my liking. But what did we learn through this very long series?

I learned a great deal and was excited to dig deeper and deeper, to not only expose the ridiculous made-up positions he claimed Biblical creationists have but also to report for him what the actual correct position of the Biblical creationist is. It was encouraging to find a great deal of evidence that what Biblical creationists believe is founded on sound Biblical understanding that has existed since before the time of Christ, but also that the position of the Biblical creationist is easily supported by our current scientific knowledge.

There were a few things that I wasn’t as familiar with that I was able to study up on during this series. I’ve enjoyed looking more into alleged impact craters, the purpose of the Tree of Life, the starlight problem, Hebrew word usage, and a number of other things. If you’ll notice, in nearly every instance, Tyler put forth arguments supportive of his beliefs that were only half true at best. He mentioned only things that would support him, rather than pointing out the other half of the information that debunks his position. But the actual depth of the Christian faith and how interconnected all of Scripture is is astounding. Tyler would generally mention a Scripture verse or two, possibly out of context, that seemed to agree with him. I did my best with the space I had to expose his cherry picking. How easy it is to only scratch the surface (as I believe most theistic evolutionists do) and have very little depth to your faith is something to be wary of. Paul talks about drinking milk rather than eating solid food. The shallowness of theistic evolution and how it treats the Word of God, as well as watering down the foundational doctrines of Christianity, is really something that makes me sad. How much the theistic evolutionist misses or glosses over! It’s a faith based on humanism sprinkled with Christianity.

Through all of this, we found that the basis for theistic evolution is smoke and mirrors. You can find many theistic evolutionists who sound eloquent when they communicate. They can sound like they’ve really studied up on their theology and married that quite well with alleged scientific knowledge to create a very convincing argument. This, of course, is not what we encountered in the writings this series was in response to. But we should be cautious not to be baffled by well-groomed talk when it doesn’t fit with the Word of God at all and is really just surface deep. There was very little in any of the writings I read of Tyler’s that actually made statements about what he believed. Most of his words were spent mocking and misrepresenting what the Bible says. I think if your position is so stout, you at least would be willing, if not excited, to share what it is. Instead, we find paragraph after paragraph of childish arguments against beliefs no one has, rather than the substance of what he actually believes. We’ve discovered that a large difference between young earth creationists and theistic evolutionists is that theistic evolutionists have very little respect for the Word of God. Oh yes, they’ll say they love it and respect it, but they ridicule it and mock it and reduce it to a book of fables no different than any other religious work or ancient writing. The Bible is in a class all its own. A very large difference between the Bible and other religious works is that the Bible is filled with accurately recorded historical accounts. Theistic evolution (and some old earth creationists) discredits this historical accuracy.

We’ve often heard God has left us two books—the Bible and the book of nature. I tend to agree to a point with that. But the big deal here—the thing to remember—is that one of these was a message from God Himself directly written for us to read and understand. The other was designed solely for our benefit and to point the way to the author of life. One is a clear communication recorded for us to read and glean a specific message. The other is easily misunderstood and often errors are made in its translation. How often do we hear of science being rewritten because what we thought we knew was way off? It happens all the time. But the time-tested Word of the unchanging God is as true and trustworthy today as the moment it was penned. If we read the book of nature and it seems to disagree with the written Word of God, the choice as to where the error occurred seems fairly obvious to me. His Word is Truth. From one of the first blog posts I wrote in this series: “To think that your interpretation of the natural features we see is the only one possible and then to assume God must have intended for us to view them as you do is just a strange idea to me.” This is especially true if that interpretation contradicts the written Word. It’s often argued that many of these passages are up for interpretation. This really is a gross misrepresentation of reality. Most of the passages in question concerning origins and the Flood (the only parts of the Bible that theistic evolutionists apparently aren’t sure how to take) can only be “interpreted” one way—the clear context and word usage makes the message very easily understood. If we can’t know what it’s saying, then communication of any kind can’t be trusted at all. Words have meaning. Context is key.

We are fighting for the souls of our children here. This is a very big deal to me as I have 5 beautiful children that I desperately want to live life to the fullest (which can only be done with Jesus Christ) and to spend eternity with in heaven. If they are led away by humanism and its tales of expanding singularities, soups that come alive, and man being nothing more than a smarter animal, they’ll walk away from the love of their lives—the Lover of their souls, Jesus Christ. This is because if we cast doubt on the obvious meaning behind the creation account, it’s very easy to come to the conclusion the entire thing is a fable with nothing of truth revealed in it. You see, the very foundation of the Gospel—the reason for the entire Biblical time line being recorded—is found in the first book of the Bible. If we minimize the importance of Genesis, the basis for everything in Scripture literally erodes away until we have nothing left but fables, myths, and traditions. If we understand that every major Christian doctrine is rooted in the first few chapters of Genesis, our faith is then founded on things that actually happened to people that actually lived. If the first Adam was a myth, how could the second Adam be any different?

This debate is over much more than science. In fact, it has little to do with science. It’s about authority. It’s about distinguishing God’s children from the world. It’s about humanity, where we come from, how we got this way, where we’re going, and Who has saved us from it all. It’s about how, at our core, do we interpret the world around us—i.e. our worldview. If we trust God FIRST and allow His Word to be the final say and means by which we see the world, rejecting humanistic philosophy disguised as intellectually stout, well-established scientific knowledge is actually very easy. But we need to understand also what science is and is not and what it can and cannot do.

In the origins debate, we are clearly talking about history, right? History—what happened in the past—is the real question. History is not science at all. If someone wants to challenge you on this debate being over history, don’t back down. With origins, we are talking about one-time past events that no human saw. In terms of the Flood, we are talking about a one-time past event only 8 people lived to tell about. These are not scientific topics. It’s true that we can use scientific procedures to validate some of the ideas the Bible states. The humanistic view of origins is also nothing more than history and not science—many one-time past events in some order that we cannot reproduce in a lab and cannot verify with testimony. The Big Bang and all its chapters from the singularity to the expansion to star and solar system and planet formation is all just a story. It’s a story that defies logic and reason as well as observed scientific knowledge. The origin of life on earth from non-living matter is not only just a story, but it is one contrary to everything we know about biology and chemistry. The evolution of pond scum to more complex life forms and ultimately to people is a myth that has no evidence that is not extremely overextended. And any evidence that seems to support Darwinism is generally easily accounted for by Biblical creationists in their models. If evidence can be used by either side of the story, it’s obviously not supportive of only one version and shouldn’t be touted as such if we are honest.

In the blog posts I responded to, we quite frequently not only saw the Biblical creationist’s position misrepresented, but we also saw that evidence that is not exclusive to evolution was pushed as such. Tyler would frequently say the only way to interpret this piece of evidence or that piece of evidence was in such a way as to support his story. Most often (if not every time), that evidence was easily incorporated into the creationist account. It seems like most of Tyler’s blog post was written for people who just want to agree with him anyway, so investigation and critically analyzing the data was likely not done by most of his readership. If this were not the case, he wouldn’t have mentioned much of what he claims are either problems for the young earth creationist position or strengths for the evolutionist position.

And finally, this entire series was taken on because I thought the questions involved were going to be deep. They’d be tough. They’d really force me to dig and muse and really do some work. As I got into them, I found that not only were they NOT unanswerable “theological” questions, but they were most frequently quite shallow. Most of them were not only answered thoroughly by many Biblical scholars and theologians (not young earth creationists but simply Bible-believing Christians) but had been answered, in some cases, for hundreds and hundreds of years. Here I thought we’d be exploring new territory and breaking new ground only to find these were tired old arguments that have little substance and were answered for centuries (again, supporting the idea that this debate is not and has not ever been about science). There is nothing new under the sun. The theory of evolution is nothing more than humanism, period. The Big Bang is nothing more than humanism, period. Trying to meld them and the Bible is like mixing dirty water and clean water. Once you do that, you no long have anything clean—it’s all contaminated. There is no value in mixing the Truth of God’s Word with humanistic philosophy. In fact, not only is there no value in it, there is no reason to consider it. Let’s be critical thinkers rather than blind sheep that follow the currently popular (and likely later replaced or revamped) humanistic philosophy on origins. I pray this series of posts was helpful in understanding the Biblical worldview and why the Bible is not compatible with Darwinism at all. I hope it also has opened your eyes, as it has mine, to the desperate need we have for educating our young people and helping them know how to critically think for themselves rather than soaking up whatever secularism throws at them. It’s also helped me have a renewed sense of urgency for the theistic evolutionists I know. We need to lift these folks up in prayer and love them. Get out there and knock ‘em alive!

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