Creation Versus Evolution – Is It a Problem?
Dr. Roger G. Ford, Ph.D., P.E.
The Chicken or the Egg?
A question that is often asked is, “Which came first – the chicken or the egg?” Is this a serious question, or is this question designed to gain a laugh or result in derision? In reality, the question is a highly complex issue and yet it is as simple as it could possibly be. It’s all a case of perspective that has eternal consequences. The question is definitive when it comes to the much more serious question of a person’s acceptance of the God of Creation or the modern pseudo-scientific explanation of evolution.
We need to examine the foundations from which an answer to the question can be found. If we look at the question from the perspective of the unproven theory, or should we say religion, of evolution, we must consider at least three things:
First, in order to accept evolution as the progenitor of everything that we know of the universe, one must think that literally fourteen billion years have passed since a “big bang” happened from which all that is in the universe sprang. The very thought of trying to conceive of such an enormous timeframe is a daunting challenge to begin with. For instance, consider what you were doing a billion seconds ago. Sounds like a relatively short time since we are looking at seconds, not minutes, hours, days, or even years. But, a billion seconds ago is almost 32 YEARS! A billion years is a thousand MILLION years. So, fourteen billion years is a massive amount of time, time that is inconceivable, and, in the minds of God-rejecting evolutionists, time enough for anything to happen – even life spontaneously occurring and generating the millions of different plants, animals, birds, fish, etc.
Second, no one ever has an explanation for the origination of the material in the “big bang”. Somehow, a super-dense “package” of unimaginably concentrated matter and energy was just there, and it exploded amazingly to begin the expansion which resulted in our universe and everything in it. Stop and ponder how strange and unlikely that sounds. Where did that “package” come from? How did it get so dense with just the right things to constitute our universe? How did it know it needed to explode? So, that explanation is incomplete and wholly inadequate. Even if, as some desperate so-called experts contend as a possibility, some extraterrestrial entity supplied this material, were they from some other dimension, where did such beings get the material for the “big bang”, and how did they deal with the super dense mass of the known universe in one little package? How did they “set it off”? Not only is this unrealistic, it is totally implausible, even ridiculous when you think about it for even a moment.
Third, the wonder and enormity of the universe seems to be outside of our comprehension. Theories of evolution do not satisfy our curiosity because they are inadequate to explain what we can see with our eyes or our minds. The irreducible complexity of what exists evolution says happened by pure chance over unimaginable time. Creation and its enormity as an act of God is what the Bible says happened in only six days. When God created the earth, it was fully functional in every way. Adam and Eve walked into a complete and mature garden, with “no assembly required.” Trees were producing fruit, animals were full-grown and ready to reproduce, and the earth was thriving with life. Since both evolution and a God-created universe both take faith to accept, the logical and reasonable choice is to attribute the universe and everything in it to a Creator God instead of statistically impossible evolution by chance.
So, depending on an individual’s choice of the origin of everything, the answer to the original question varies. The evolution believer would not have a definitive answer. If the egg happened first, then a boatload of problems arise. How did the shell come about filled with yolk and white matter? Even if the egg did show up, how did it get fertilized to produce a chick? How did the contents of the egg know how to make a chick and not a lemon or a lizard or a rock? Then, if the egg showed up fertilized, hatched into a chick, grew up into a chicken, was it a female or a male? Either option presents the next problem. There would have to have been simultaneous evolution of a second fertilized egg that hatched a chick of the opposite sex in order for any new fertilized eggs to be laid when both chicks matured. Statistically, these occurrences all happening at precisely the same time in the scheme of 14 billion years challenge anyone’s ability to accept. If only one chicken showed up, the species dies. If two show up of the same sex, the species dies. If one chicken evolved in one part of the world and the other chicken in another, how did they get together to continue the species? If the egg shows up unfertilized, the species never happens.
Evolution wants us to believe that the two chickens evolved at exactly the same time somewhere in that fourteen billion years. They also want us to believe that not only chickens, but all birds, all animals, all plants, all insects, everything, literally thousands and thousands of different living things ALL evolved from the material in the “big bang” independently over time. Say the chance that those two chickens evolving at exactly the right time and exactly the right place was one chance in a million – it’s probably a much greater chance than that, but we will assume the one in a million. Now, let’s throw in five more animal species, five plant species, five insect species, and five bird species all evolving out of the “big bang” at the same time with the same probability of evolving at a million to one. Mathematically, for only two to evolve at the same time, the chance would be one million times one million or one chance in one trillion (1 x 1012). Pretty small chance, but let’s look at all 20 additional plant and animal species we are saying evolved at the same time. What are the chances for that occurring with each one being one chance in a million of evolving from the stuff of the “big bang”? That would be one chance in a million times itself 20 times or 1 x 10120. In other words a one followed by 120 zeroes. This is for only 20 different species, not the thousands and thousands of insects and birds, plants, animals, and fish species we all know exist today and even more in the past. To put that enormous number representing the random chance that just 20 different species evolved independently, the number of atoms in the known universe has been speculatively estimated at less than 1 x 1090. So, that means just 20 species evolving at the same time able to reproduce themselves is greater than the total number of atoms in the known universe. That completely disproves evolution all by itself without considering the irreducible complexity of each and every species: how an eye could evolve with almost a million cone and rod cells in each eye which transmit images to our brains; how a woodpecker could evolve a tongue four times longer than any other bird in order to reach bugs that have bored deeply into tree trunks; how a tiny three gram in weight hummingbird has the knowledge and the energy to fly completely across the Gulf of Mexico, over 600 miles.
If the chicken happened first in the evolution scenario, how did a non-flying bird evolve from some predecessor at the same time that another non-flying bird exactly as the first one evolve? The second evolved chicken had to be the opposite sex in order to continue the species. Again, the precise timing over billions of years of these separate evolution products perfectly matched to produce offspring occurring at the same time is not only unlikely, it’s impossible. Just application of common sense to these wildly speculative scenarios results in not only skepticism but downright doubt.
The opposite choice is based on belief in the Bible, the very Word of God. The Bible says that everything was made by God when He created them out of nothing. The Bible also says God made everything in six days then rested on the seventh day. Genesis tells us that on the fifth day, God made all the fish and mammals in the seas and the birds. When God declared His Creation was very good, that affirmation included completion and maturity—a maturity marked by the appearance of age. When He created trees and animals, He created them as mature, fully developed organisms. According to the biblical account, He did not create just seeds for plants and cells for animals. He certainly did not plant a single cell programmed to evolve itself into a variety of creatures. He made trees with already-mature fruit (Genesis 1:11). He didn’t merely create an egg; He made chickens already full grown. Genesis 1:21 plainly answers the famous question, “Which came first – the chicken or the egg?”
It is really quite shocking and disturbing to see how the idea that the earth is billions of years old has begun to dominate even the evangelical Christian community. In recent years a number of leading evangelical theologians, Bible commentators, and apologists have begun arguing that it is now necessary to go beyond the plain meaning of the Creation account in Genesis and try to adapt our understanding of Creation as closely as possible to the theories currently in secular science. If we insist on a literal six-day creation and a young age for the universe, they claim, we will sacrifice our academic credibility and weaken our testimony to those educated in the theory of evolution. Why would we reject God and the Bible just to gain acceptance from the world? Just to whom do we owe our allegiance to – man or God? Can man guarantee salvation and life after death? Each individual has to wrestle with this very important decision because our very future depends upon it.
The Contrasting Religions of Creation and Evolution
The often-asked question “Do you believe in evolution?” expects the answer “Of course!” Don’t only ignorant yokels have any doubt? But polls consistently reveal that a great majority of Americans do not believe in the evolution of all life forms from a common ancestor. Why isn’t evolution something you can know for sure, not just something in which you can believe?
As always, it helps to define terms. First, evolution is the “descent from a common ancestor” model, the idea that all of life came from more primitive forms. Humankind came from an ape-like ancestor that came up through the mammals from an original rodent-like creature. All mammals came from early reptiles and amphibians, which all came from fish. And the fish came from some marine invertebrate like a snail or starfish, which had still earlier evolved from single-celled life.
Thus, a more revealing question might be “Do you believe your ancestors were fish, as evolution teaches?” Or, “Are you a mutated rodent-like creature?” Fewer people would be inclined to answer, “Yes!” Despite several generations now of aggressive evolution-only teaching in the public school classroom, most people just know that they didn’t come from a fish or a rodent or a starfish. They can choose to believe they have an animal ancestry, but few do. It just isn’t believable. Thankfully, it isn’t the only alternative explanation for origins, and the other is not only more believable, it’s more appealing.
Dr. Michael Ruse, perhaps the most eloquent spokesman for evolution today, has admitted, “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion, a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.”
Christianity has its God and its revealed truth. It tells us our origins, who we are, where we came from, the meaning of life, and where we’re going after we die. It tells us how to live and how to make life decisions along the way. Created in the image of God, we have great worth in His eyes, and great standing before Him as we appropriate His gift of redemption, a great destiny to perform on earth, and life with our loving and righteous Creator/Savior after death.
Evolution answers these same questions differently. We are and come from the universe’s chemicals that have self-organized into unlikely forms over eons of time. Single-celled life transformed itself into higher forms until finally the human animal came along. As higher animals, we have incorporated animal behavior into societal norms and even “religious” beliefs. The only true meaning to life is survival and reproduction, and life’s highest goal is to pass on one’s genes more efficiently than others. After life, we simply cease to exist.
As Dr. Ruse explains, “Evolution is a religion,” and not a science at all. It might be best understood as a worldview, a way of thinking and making sense of the world around us. Some, such as Eugenie Scott, have called this worldview “philosophical materialism,” a religious claim of naturalism that holds that nature is all there is. There is no supernatural Being who has ever interfered with the natural order of things. Surely this is a religious claim regarding all of reality.
And surely it’s not the only or the best such claim. As constitutional attorney Wendell Bird has pointed out: “Evolution is at least as religious as creation, and creation is at least as scientific as evolution.” Creation is also more believable.
Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit – out of nothing, nothing comes
Either there is a God who created the universe and sovereignly rules His creation, or everything was caused by inconceivably remote, random chance. The two ideas are mutually exclusive. Make chance the cause of the universe, and you have effectively done away with God. As a matter of fact, if chance as a determinative force or a cause exists even in the frailest form, God has been dethroned. The sovereignty of God and chance are inherently incompatible. If chance causes or determines anything, God is not truly God.
Then there is an inescapable fact, chance is not a force. Chance all by itself cannot make anything happen. Evolutionists spout forth that chance is the reason for everything. But, chance is nothing. Chance by itself simply does not exist. Chance has no power to do anything. It cannot be the cause of any effect. Chance is imaginary hocus–pocus used by evolutionists to deny that God had anything at all to do with reality. Chance is basically contrary to every law of science, every principle of logic, and every intuition of sheer common sense. Even the most basic principles of thermodynamics, physics, and biology suggest that chance simply cannot be the determinative force that has brought about the order and interdependence we see in our universe—much less the diversity of life, the irreducible complexity we find on our planet. Nothing in life is simple as can be easily demonstrated by examining, at random, anything in existence. Life of any kind, even the rocks, cannot be attributed to chance. Ultimately, chance simply cannot account for the origin of life and intelligence.
One of the oldest principles of rational philosophy is ex nihilo nihil fit. Out of nothing, nothing comes. And chance is nothing. Naturalism is defined as a philosophical viewpoint according to which everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted. Naturalism is also demonstrably nothing more than rational suicide.
When scientists attribute the existence of everything to chance, they have left the realm of reason, and they have left the domain of science. They have turned to pulling rabbits out of hats and pure fantasy. Insert the idea of chance, and all scientific investigation ultimately becomes chaotic and absurd. That is precisely why evolution does not deserve to be deemed true science; it is nothing more than an irrational religion—the religion of those who want to sin without guilt.
Someone once estimated that the number of random genetic factors involved in the evolution of a tapeworm from an amoeba would be comparable to placing a monkey in a room with a typewriter and allowing him to strike the keys at random until he accidentally produced a perfectly spelled and perfectly punctuated typescript of Hamlet’s soliloquy. And the odds of getting all the mutations necessary to evolve a starfish from a one–celled creature are comparable to asking a hundred blind people to make ten random moves each with five Rubik’s Cubes, and finding all five cubes perfectly solved at the end of the process.
The odds against all earth’s life forms evolving from a single cell or even from some predecessor species are, in a word, impossible as we have demonstrated. Nonetheless, the absurdity of naturalism goes largely unchallenged today in universities and colleges and in the public that is somehow mesmerized by “brilliant’ or “learned” professors. Turn on the Discovery Channel or pick up an issue of National Geographic and you are likely to be exposed to the assumption that chance exists as a force—as if mere chance spontaneously generated everything in the universe. One Nobel laureate, Harvard professor George Wald, spoke of the utter absurdity of this. Pondering the vast array of factors both real and hypothetical that would have to arise spontaneously all at once in order for inanimate matter to evolve into even the most primitive one–celled form of life, he wrote, “One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are—as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation.” How did Wald believe this impossibility came about? He answered: “Time is in fact the hero of the plot. The time with which we have to deal is of the order of two billion years. What we regard as impossible on the basis of human experience is meaningless here. Given so much time, the ‘impossible’ becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles.” Given enough time, that which is impossible becomes “virtually certain.” That is sheer double–talk, blind faith, religion that is totally unscientific based on a non-force called chance. And it perfectly illustrates the absence of any foundation that underlies naturalism.
There is no viable explanation of the universe without God. So many immense and intricate wonders could not exist without a Designer. There’s only one possible explanation for it all, and that is the creative power of an all wise God. He created and sustains the universe, and He gives meaning to it. And without Him, there is ultimately no meaning in anything. Without Him, we are left with only the notion that everything emerged from nothing without a cause and without any reason. Without Him, we are stuck with that absurd formula of the evolutionist: Nothing times nobody equals everything.
Genesis and Naturalism – Cognitive Dissonance
Most of us have never heard of dissonance. It’s a term normally employed by musicians to describe disharmony and disagreement between sounds. There is another term called “cognitive dissonance” used to describe similar discord in the world of ideas and beliefs. Maybe that’s a good way to view the debate about origins in Genesis—cognitive dissonance.
The creation account in Genesis 1-3 demands to be taken at face value for several reasons. First, the most impactful reason is that Genesis Chapters 1 through 3 are the Word of God just as the rest of the entire Bible. 2 Timothy 3 :16 and 17 says, “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God (God-breathed), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (prepared) unto all good works.” And that statement from the Holy Spirit Himself certainly means Genesis Chapters 1 through 3. Second, nothing about the text itself suggests it contains anything other than a faithful, literal, historical account of how God spoke the universe into existence—from nothing (bara). That kind of literal hermeneutical (proper interpretation) approach to Genesis exposes all symbolic, poetic, allegorical, and mythical interpretations for what they really are, foreign ideas forced upon the text—but not without a cost. No honest handling of the biblical text can reconcile these chapters in Genesis with the theory of evolution or any of the other “scientific” theories about origins. The main thrust of the passage simply cannot be reconciled with the idea of naturalism or no supernatural involvement.
Over the past couple of decades, large numbers of evangelicals have shown a surprising willingness to take a completely non-evangelical approach to interpreting the early chapters of Genesis. More and more are embracing the view known as “old-earth creationism,” which blends some of the principles of biblical creationism with naturalistic and evolutionary theories, seeking to reconcile two opposing world-views. Supposedly, the weak evangelicals attempt to assuage the feelings of evolutionists toward Biblically-based believers by accepting some form of naturalism as opposed to God ordained creationism. And in order to accomplish this, old-earth creationists end up explaining away rather than honestly or accurately interpreting the biblical creation account. This is foolish at the very least because appeasement of ungodly people (fools) is against Scripture (Proverbs 26:4), and the salt and light we as Christians are to bring to the world loses flavor and intensity when God’s Word is diluted in any way. Additionally, Revelation succinctly and frighteningly prohibits such sophistry in 22:19, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), so it is clear God means all of Scripture as well.
A handful of scientists who profess Christianity are among those who have led the way in this revisionism—most of them lacking any skill whatsoever in biblical interpretation. But they are setting forth a major reinterpretation of Genesis 1-3 designed specifically to accommodate the current trends of naturalist theory. In their view, the six days of creation in Genesis 1 are long ages, the chronological order of creation is flexible, and most of the details about creation given in Scripture can be written off as poetic or symbolic figures of speech.
Many who should know better, such as pastors and Christian leaders who defend the faith against false teachings all the time, have been tempted to give up the battle for the opening chapters of Genesis. Nothing about the Genesis text itself suggests that the biblical creation account is merely symbolic, poetic, allegorical, or mythical. The main thrust of the passage simply cannot be reconciled with the notion that “creation” occurred via natural evolutionary processes over long periods of time. And, a faithful handling of the biblical text, by any acceptable principles of hermeneutics or proper interpretation, can possibly reconcile these chapters with the theory of evolution or any of the other allegedly “scientific” theories about the origin of the universe.
Everything Scripture says about salvation through Jesus Christ hinges on the literal truth of what Genesis 1-3 teaches about Adam’s creation and fall. What “old-earth creationists”, including even the evangelical ones, are doing with Genesis 1-3 is precisely what religious liberals have always done with all of Scripture—spiritualizing and reinterpreting the text allegorically to make it mean what they want it to mean. It is a dangerous way to handle Scripture. And it involves a perilous and unnecessary “giving in” to the religious presuppositions and assumptions of naturalism—not to mention a serious dishonor to God. Evangelicals who accept an old-earth interpretation of Genesis have embraced a hermeneutic, an interpretation that is hostile to Scripture. Those who adopt this approach have betrayed the authority of Scripture, the true nature of faith in things not seen, and their ability to strongly witness for the Bible and for Jesus Himself.
The Fallacy of the “Framework Hypothesis”
It’s no surprise that the creation account has always been in the crosshairs of the enemy. Since the Garden of Eden, God’s Word has suffered and withstood many aggressive attacks, all driven by one scandalous purpose—to cast doubt upon God and the integrity of His Word. Genesis in particular, has been a favorite target. Many are saying that Adam was not a real person, Eden was not a real place, and the talking serpent was not a real tempter or even a real snake. In fact, they start with the word, “day” in Genesis 1. According to the “framework hypothesis,” day doesn’t mean a real 24-hour period of time as we know it. This is the belief that the “days” of creation are not even distinct eras, but overlapping stages of a long evolutionary process. According to this view, the six days described in Genesis 1 do not set forth a chronology of any kind, but rather a metaphorical “framework” by which the creative process is described for our immature and finite human minds. This view was apparently first set forth by liberal German theologians in the nineteenth century, and was later adopted and propagated by some leading evangelicals, most notably the late Dr. Meredith G. Kline, an Old Testament scholar who taught at Westminster theological seminary.
The framework hypothesis starts with the view that the “days” of creation in Genesis 1 are symbolic expressions that have nothing to do with time. Framework advocates note the obvious parallelism between days one and four (the creation of light and the placing of lights in the firmament), days two and five (the separation of air and water and the creation of fish and birds to inhabit air and water), and days three and six (the emergence of the dry land and the creation of land animals), and they suggest that such parallelism is a clue that the structure of the chapter is merely poetic. Thus, according to this theory, the sequence of creation may essentially be disregarded, as if some literary form in the passage nullified its literal meaning.
Naturally, advocates of this view accept the modern scientific theory that the formation of the earth required several billion years. They claim the biblical account is nothing more than a metaphorical framework that should overlay our scientific understanding of creation. The language and details of Genesis 1 are unimportant, they say; the only truth this passage aims to teach us is that the hand of divine Providence guided the evolutionary process. The Genesis creation account is thus reduced to a literary device—an extended metaphor that is not to be accepted at face value.
But if the Lord wanted to teach us that creation took place in six literal days, how could He have stated it more plainly than Genesis does? The length of the days is defined by periods of day and night that are governed after day four by the sun and moon. The Creation week of six days of work and one day of rest defines the pattern of human labor and rest. The days are marked by the passage of morning and evening. How could these not signify the chronological progression of God’s creative work?
The problem with the framework hypothesis is that it employs a destructive method of interpretation. If the plain meaning of Genesis 1 may be written off and the language treated as nothing more than a literary device, why not do the same with Genesis 3? Indeed, most theological liberals insist that the talking serpent in chapter 3 signals a fable or a metaphor, and therefore they reject that passage as a literal and historical record of how humanity fell into sin. Where does metaphor end and history begin? After the flood? After the tower of Babel? And why there? Why not regard all the biblical miracles as literary devices? Why could not the resurrection itself be dismissed as a mere allegory? In the words of E. J. Young, “If the ‘framework’ hypothesis were applied to the narratives of the virgin birth or the resurrection or Romans 5:12, it could as effectively serve to minimize the importance of the content of those passages as it now does the content of the first chapter of Genesis.”
The simple, rather obvious, fact is that no one would ever think the time-frame for creation was anything other than a normal week of seven days from reading the Bible and allowing it to interpret itself. The Fourth Commandment makes no sense whatsoever apart from an understanding that the days of God’s creative work parallel a normal human work week.
The framework hypothesis is the direct result of making modern scientific theory, rather than original intent, a hermeneutical guideline by which to interpret Scripture. The basic presupposition behind the framework hypothesis is the notion that science speaks with more authority about origins and the age of the earth than Scripture does. Those who embrace such a view have in effect made science an authority over Scripture. They are permitting scientific hypotheses—mere human opinions that have no divine authority whatsoever—to be the hermeneutical rule by which Scripture is interpreted.
Modern scientific opinion is not a valid hermeneutic for interpreting Genesis (or any other portion of Scripture, for that matter). Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 2:16) or the inspired truth from God. “[Scripture] never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). Jesus summed the point up perfectly when He said, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). The Bible is supreme truth, and therefore it is the standard by which scientific theory should be evaluated, not vice versa. James Clerk Maxwell, (born June 13, 1831, Edinburgh, Scotland—died November 5, 1879, Cambridge, England) Scottish physicist best known for his formulation of electromagnetic theory, is regarded by most modern physicists as the scientist of the 19th century who had the greatest influence on 20th-century physics. He is ranked with Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein for the fundamental nature of his contributions. Maxwell had no use for any theory of evolution — cosmic, chemical, biological, or otherwise, and he was a contemporary of Darwin. Maxwell once commented on the permanency of molecules, “…they are essential constituents of the image of Him who in the beginning created, not only the heaven and the earth, but the materials of which heaven and earth consist”. If modern scientists would acknowledge the God of Creation as Maxwell, Newton, and even Einstein eventually did, new and exciting discoveries would emerge contrary to the current false concentrations of global warming, climate change, and the rise in greenhouse gasses due to man.
As John MacArthur wrote, proponents of the “framework hypothesis” argue the language and details of Genesis 1 are unimportant; they are only meant to show that divine Providence guided the evolutionary process. But, if that’s really what God intended for us to take away from the first few chapters of Genesis (Providence guided evolution) then why did God provide such exact details with precise language?
Groaning Under the Curse
Evidence of man’s sinfulness surrounds us. Daily newspapers publish it in their headlines; news programs feature it on the hour; websites make it public domain for all to witness; and it sweeps through the annals of human history. But how did we get into this condition?
Charles Spurgeon once said the slime of Adam’s transgression covers the entire planet. He was right. Nothing is free from the stain of man’s sinfulness. Even the creation itself groans under the strain of God’s curse. The evidence is undeniable. We live among a fallen people on a fallen planet. But how did it get that way?
Genesis 3 is one of the most vitally important chapters in all of the Bible. It is the foundation of everything that comes after it. Without it, little else in Scripture or in life itself would make sense. Genesis 3 explains the condition of the universe and the state of humanity. It explains why the world has so many problems. It explains the human dilemma. It explains why we need a Savior. And it explains what God is doing in history. In other words, the truth revealed in Genesis 3 is the necessary foundation for a true and accurate world-view. Every world-view that lacks this foundation is utterly and hopelessly wrong.
When God completed His perfect creation, there was no disorder, no chaos, no conflict, no struggle, no pain, no discord, no deterioration, and no death. Yet our lives today are filled with all those things all the time. Frankly, we find it hard to imagine what a perfect world would have been like. Genesis 3 explains how we got from that paradise of unimaginable perfection to where we are today.
Evolution offers no explanation for the human dilemma, much less any solution to it. Why is human existence fraught with so many moral and spiritual problems? Evolution will never be able to answer that question. In fact, pure naturalistic evolution cannot account for anything that is moral or spiritual. Yet we are clearly moral and spiritual creatures, and we all know this. The concepts of good and evil are innate in the human psyche. Even the most atheistic evolutionists have consciences. We know from bitter experience that we cannot keep ourselves from evil. We find the pull of sin irresistible. We cannot do everything we know we ought to do. Worse, we cannot reform ourselves. Evolution offers no explanation for this dilemma and no hope for a solution.
Instead, the doctrine of evolution (if followed consistently) ends with a denial of the reality of evil. If naturalistic evolution is correct and there is no God, neither can there be any inviolable moral principles that govern the universe. And therefore there is no moral accountability of any kind. In fact, if evolution is true, things are the way they are by sheer chance, for no transcendent reason. Nothing under such a system could ever have any real moral significance. The very notions of good and evil would be meaningless concepts. There would be no reason to condemn a Hitler or applaud a Good Samaritan.
Who wired us to distinguish between good and evil? Where did the human conscience come from? And why is human nature universally drawn to evil? Evolutionists are clueless. But, Genesis 3 answers that question with clarity and simplicity. Our first ancestor, Adam, deliberately disobeyed God. Somehow his sin defiled the whole race, and now every one of his natural offspring has inherited a love for sin and a contempt for true righteousness. And this manifests itself in our behavior.
Because of Adam’s sin, creation was tainted and cursed. Romans 8:20-22 says, “The creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” In other words, because of sin, no part of creation now exists as God originally made it. It “was subjected to futility,” meaning that it was rendered unable to achieve the purpose for which it was originally designed. It was spoiled, defiled by sin, and thus subject to God’s curse instead of His blessing. It was enslaved to corruption and placed in bondage to the debasing effects of sin including decay, degradation, and death. All creation now “groans and labors with birth pangs” picturesque language depicting the suffering and pain caused by sin’s defilement. All these things, according to Scripture, are the effects of Adam’s disobedience.
This clearly argues against evolution. If God used evolutionary processes or “natural selection” to create the world in the first place, then death, decay, mutation, and corruption were part of creation from the beginning. If death and natural selection were part of the means God used to create the world, then nothing was actually created perfect; everything had defects built in. But Scripture plainly attributes all such things to Adam’s sin. They are the consequences of the curse that came after that first act of disobedience.
And deliverance from this state will not come from any process of evolution, either. In fact, the whole of creation including the human race is now subject to a kind of devolution, which no amount of education, enlightenment, environmentalism, psychology, civilization, or technology will ever be able to reverse. What is needed is redemption (Romans 8:23).
The remainder of Genesis is filled with evidence of humanity’s downward spiral into utter moral degradation. Genesis 3 is the turning point. Before that, God looked at creation and pronounced everything “very good” (Genesis 1:31). But after Genesis 3, all human history has been colored by that which is very bad, examples of human nobility which has been dangerously flawed since the Fall of Adam and sin. The only exceptions are examples of God’s redemptive work.
Genesis 4 records the first murder, a case of fratricide. Genesis 4:19 contains the first mention of polygamy. Verse 23 tells of another act of murder. And from there the human race declines so grievously that by Genesis 6:5, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” So God destroyed the entire race, except for one family.
Genesis also records the beginnings of such evils as homosexuality (Genesis 19:1-5); incest (Genesis 19:30-38); idolatry (Genesis 31:30-35); rape (Genesis 34:1-2); mass murder (Genesis 34:25-29); harlotry (Genesis 38:14-19); and numerous other forms of wickedness. All of this stemmed from Adam’s one act of disobedience (Romans 5:19). Adam’s sin poisoned not only his offspring, but also the rest of creation. How did this evil come about? Again, only Genesis 3 gives a clear answer. The only remaining question is: Will you believe it?
A Stopping Point on the Dividing Line
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
Darwin’s idea “is the most powerful and the most comprehensive idea that has ever arisen on earth. It helps us understand our origins . . .” (Sir Julian Huxley, “Education and Humanism,” in Essays of a Humanist, 1964).
These quotations represent two competing worldviews—Christian theism and naturalistic evolution. One follows the biblical storyline, affirming the recent creation of the heavens and the earth only thousands of years ago. The other adheres to philosophical materialism in which a cycle of life and death has been in motion for billions of years. This modern conflict—creation vs. evolution—represents a fundamental dividing line between faith and unbelief.
At the heart of proper perspective on origins is a commitment to the Bible; all of life should be viewed through the lens of Scripture. And that’s the difference between the two competing worldviews; do we choose to believe God, or believe some “expert” who is, indeed, just another sinful man? The question is really a matter of ultimate authority.
After framing the argument in biblical terms, only one position is possible, and that is the young earth creation. The Bible teaches the recent creation by divine fiat of the heavens and the earth, plant life and animal life, the subsequent special creation of Adam and Eve, and the subsequent fall of Adam and Eve into sin which introduced death into the world God created. Even the atheistic enemies of Scripture understand that. You either believe that, or you don’t.
Ultimately, Satan is the source of evolutionary theory. It’s a lie, an alternative reality, a replacement narrative for the unbeliever. Satan used that same strategy when he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden, and it’s worked well for him ever since. Evolution is simply the latest in a long chain of lies to aid the rebels’ cause, waging war against their Creator.
Evolution is essentially attempted murder. It helps people replace the triune God with a false trinity of matter, time, and chance. For those who embrace the lie that God is dead, there are massive implications and devastating consequences. If God didn’t create us, then He doesn’t own us, His law is irrelevant, and He has no right to judge us. Removing the troublesome yoke of divine sovereignty liberates people to create and define their own realities. Morals and ethics become matters of individual preference or social convention. Universal, transcendent authority is relegated to the unenlightened past.
The consequences of that are severe and brutal. Without a universally-binding, transcendent authority, there is no basis for justice. And who needs justice? If there’s no such thing as the special creation of man, and man is nothing more than an animal with opposable thumbs and a more sophisticated, nuanced set of grunts, what’s the point of justice?
There’s no justice in the dog-eat-dog animal kingdom, and no protection from the strong. Brutality and sensuality reign. There’s no sense of loyalty to family or morality, no sense of purpose or meaning. Life in the evolutionary worldview is inherently nihilistic. The masses forage through life, like brute beasts, mindful only of gratifying sensual desires.
That preferred version of reality is all the evolutionist has to look forward to – a cold, hard dystopia. Huxley is right about evolution’s comprehensiveness and power, but the landscape in that world is utterly bleak and hopeless.
By contrast, the biblical worldview, predicated on the thoughtful creation by a loving God, paints an entirely different picture. Here is reality, and it is truly the most powerful and the most comprehensive idea on earth because it is what God revealed in His Word. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
The biblical account of creation is comprehensive because it explains everything. The Bible declares the origin of the heavens and earth, mankind, marriage, evil, language, government, culture, technology, nations, alternate religions, the six-day workweek; it explains where a large portion of the fossil record came from; and provides a chronology of the earth’s history. While there may be apparent conflicts, there is no evidence that truly contradicts what God told us in His Word.
Gathering facts and investigating the evidence continues to vindicate the biblical record and devastate Darwinian evolution.
The Bible’s creation account is also powerful because it reveals the glory and the purpose of our Creator. From that very first day, God prepared an earth that would be useful for Adam and Eve. God made man in His image, not as another animal, but as the pinnacle of His creation, and put him at the center of His plan to glorify Himself in creation and redemption. And Genesis explains why we need redemption at all—the Fall of man helps us understand why evil exists in the world, while providing hope in God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. That’s the biblical storyline, as told by the Creator, Judge, and Redeemer of the earth. What idea could be more powerful than that?
It all comes down to whether we either look to God as the first cause, or we look to something else. You’re either a materialist, believing in the eternality of matter, or you are a supernaturalist, believing in the eternality of God. The choice anyone makes at the beginning, the a priori set of presuppositions, the assumptions we choose to believe, will determine what is accepted as the final authority, how we look at the evidence, and what conclusions we’re prepared to accept.
That’s why it’s so difficult to understand why professing Christians try to make peace with evolution.
Science studies what it can observe, what can be predictably repeated; so science is out of its depth when it tries to answer questions about metaphysics. The scientific method cannot be applied to a non-repeatable supernatural act, like the inception of the universe by divine fiat, or any subsequent miracle. Evolutionary devotees sometimes seem more like cultists than rational scientists. Many act oblivious to the faith-based nature of their operating assumptions, and are therefore wholly uncritical about their starting point. Here are just a few examples:
- Abiogenesis is impossible; everything can’t come forth from nothing.
- Biologists must account for the information we find in DNA; something of greater complexity and intelligence must have put it there.
- Uniformitarian geology makes unjustified and non-proven assumptions in its dating methods, and shows irrational hostility toward the biblical record of the global flood catastrophe ignoring the warnings of Scripture.
In every field of study, evolutionists make massively consequential, determinative assumptions; and yet they act as if it’s all settled, proven science that is beyond question. Even though the conclusions of science remain a moving target, there are many professing Christians, in fact, most Christian institutions, who have caved in to the pervasive, evolutionary viewpoint. Many of them hope to gain credibility with the scientific establishment, and they’re willing to sacrifice the Bible to get it.
Inserting long ages into the biblical account of creation, which is required if you’re going to make the Bible compatible with evolutionary theory, twists the text of Scripture, compromises inerrancy, and sometimes even undermines the gospel. Theistic evolution and the Framework Hypothesis are two disastrous attempts to reconcile the two mutually exclusive worldviews. Whenever you put literal death before a literal Adam and Eve, you disagree with the Lord Jesus Christ, the apostle Paul, and other New Testament writers who affirm the actual history of the creation account. Death before Adam, therefore, is an abandonment of any credible claim to biblical fidelity.
In His wisdom, God tied every aspect of redemption to real history, which He recorded and interpreted in His Word. And it all starts with a literal view of the creation account, the special creation of a literal Adam and Eve, and the Fall of mankind into sin. What we believe about creation affects primary doctrines of the Bible. It is a litmus test of biblical fidelity that reveals our commitment to Scripture as the final authority.
“No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord” (Proverbs 21:30). The prevailing philosophies of secular humanism, materialism, and naturalism inform and bias most scientific inquiry and conclusions in favor of evolutionary theory. Evolution is indeed a powerful narrative that presents a tremendous challenge to the church. And yet, men like John MacArthur of Grace Community Church and the Master’s Seminary, Henry Morris of the Institute for Creation Research, Bruce Malone of the Search for the Truth Ministries, and dozens more, have all stood firm against the rising tide and dominant winds of evolution. God will honor all those who honor His Word; those who do not honor His Word will be put to shame.
Therefore, in the interest of glorifying God by holding fast to His Word, when there is a way that seems right to today’s men (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25), here are a few short, concluding observations, in no particular order.
The Foundational Issue of Ultimate Authority
The nature of ultimate, transcendent authority is that it is self-attesting. That means, an ultimate authority answers to no one and nothing above itself, otherwise it ceases to be ultimate. If I tell you, “A massive storm is coming to your part of the country.” Since I’m no meteorologist, you’d be right to challenge me and demand the source of my information. I might point you to your local newscast, and again, you could challenge their authority to make such a claim. If your local weather service predicts the weather as well as mine does, you try to find some authority figure you trust before stocking up for the big one or evacuating the area.
That’s especially the case when it comes to metaphysical narratives that attempt to answer the big questions like “Where did we come from?” “Why are we here?” Darwinian philosophy offers one narrative, Hindu philosophy offers another, Christian philosophy another, and there are more. But the question we must ask is, “Who says?”
Time, chance, and progress stand in the place of God for the evolutionist, promising an endless “ocean of facts [with] no bottom and no shore” (Cornelius Van Til, Christian Apologetics). It’s hard to pin down their ultimate authority because it’s mutable, ever-changing, and even contradicting itself.
God is the ultimate, immutable, self-attesting authority, as demonstrated in Hebrews 6:13: “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater by whom to swear, He swore by Himself.” Every Christian knows God to be the ultimate authority, and His Word to be the only reliable source of truth, but some act inconsistent with that, especially when it comes to evolutionism.
The dominant “isms” of our day seem so great, so insurmountable. But their splendor quickly fades and their edifices come crumbling down when you contrast them with the God of Scripture.
The Consistent Hermeneutics of Biblical Fidelity
If we claim that God is the only self-attesting, transcendent authority (and we do), and if we claim that the Holy Bible is God-breathed, inerrant, and sufficient (and we do), then how we interpret it becomes a matter of grave importance. People have obviously misinterpreted the Bible and used it to justify all manner of error and even wickedness. It’s important to get it right. The only consistent approach to interpreting the Bible is the grammatical-historical approach. You use the rules of grammar (lexical, syntactical study) and the facts of history (setting, background study) to determine the plain sense of the text in its context.
When you apply the grammatical-historical method of interpretation to Genesis, you come out the other side with a literal, six-day creation, a literal Adam and Eve, a literal Fall, the worldwide Flood, and a young earth based on the genealogical records. With other methods of interpretation, you have the luxury of predetermining your conclusions before you start.
The Scientific Method and Young-Earth Creationism
Young-earth creationists are a hearty bunch. They bear the scorn and disdain of the scientific community, can’t get positions at colleges and universities, and are denied funding because their research starts with “religious,” not scientific, presuppositions. That is grossly unfair. A simple way to look at the scientific method is that it starts with: (1) observe, (2) ask a question, (3) form a hypothesis, (4) test your hypothesis, (5) analyze the data to either accept or reject your hypothesis, and (6) accept your hypothesis or revise it and test again. Why are young-earth creationists prevented by current, secular universities allowed to conduct scientific inquiry, using the scientific method, but within the boundaries of Scripture? Old-earth creationists do the same thing, but remain within boundaries set for them by materialism, naturalism, and secular humanism. So, why must young-earth creationists play by the rules of a God-rejecting worldview? Shouldn’t Christians demand it be the other way around?
The Error of Evidentialist Apologetics
The motivation for a number of old-earth creationists is to maintain Christian credibility with the unbelieving world, particularly those within the scientific community. They believe they need to do science according to the evolutionary model, and win them to Christ by showing them what good thinkers they are. But, whenever an appeal is made to human reason to adjudicate metaphysical questions like origins, that reason is automatically set above God as the final arbiter of reality. But human reason faces natural, creaturely limitations because it is bound by space, time, finite capacity. Human reason is unable to be objective because it is hindered by the effects of sin, affecting the ability to think; it also suffers the effects of a sin nature, which affects the will to think in a godly way. This really means that God and His Word will never get a fair hearing from secular minds.
Furthermore, 1 Peter 3:15, that classic apologetic text, tells us to “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts,” and in that manner, “make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account.” If Christ is Lord, then His Word is the supreme authority for us as Christians. And the same hermeneutic that upholds His humanity and deity, His death, burial, and resurrection, and all the other primary truths of Scripture, should be the same hermeneutic we employ to interpret Genesis 1 and 2. Young-earth creationism is consistent with the lordship of Christ; we must not compromise that when preaching the gospel to evolutionists.
How then do we deal with the evolutionist? Stick to what God has said, trust Him completely, and put Proverbs 26:4-5 into practice, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. Answer a fool as his folly deserves, lest he be wise in his own eyes.”
First, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him.” That is, don’t enter into the evolutionist’s foolish thinking, don’t accept his set of presuppositions, and don’t leave his assumptions unchallenged. If you do, you’ll become like him.
Second, “Answer a fool as his folly deserves, lest he be wise in his own eyes.” Don’t deny the data, and don’t deny that their conclusions have the appearance of validity; maybe you have something to learn. But take the time to demonstrate (1) the folly of his assumptions and presuppositions, and (2) that the creationist framework can give an answer for the evidence even if it doesn’t satisfy the skeptic. The point isn’t to convince the unbeliever; the point is to please the Lord and leave the unbeliever without excuse “lest he be wise in his own eyes”.
Doing science within a young-earth creationist framework may be lonely and difficult especially because the funding isn’t there, but it’s worth it to maintain credibility and integrity before God and men.
The True Tone of Compromise
It is interesting to see reaction to when the evangelical compromises with evolutionary theory are mentioned. There is little disagreement about the threat of evolution, that there is increased disagreement about the limitations of science to answer metaphysical questions, but there is outright hostility, even scoffing, when the inconsistency and compromise of those who deny the straightforward, literal reading of Genesis is pointed out. Hermeneutics is clearly ground-zero in the battle.
It is also instructive to see the different types of dissenting voices. There are the Bullies, the Concerned, and the Armchair Critics:
- The Bullies lead with their education and experience – PhDs and decades in the field. Some swagger in like boisterous gunslingers, flipping over tables and trying to intimidate all the paying customers. They probably think that they gain the advantage of shock and awe, but once the dust settles, their manifested insurmountable weakness in biblical fidelity, consistency, and presuppositions comes to light.
- The Concerned are those just trying to learn. They seemed so genuinely conflicted about the controversy, even to the point of losing sleep. They just want to learn from their young-earth creationist brothers, but they can’t get over the nagging evidences that confront with in the universities. But peeling away the soft, fuzzy layers of superficial agreement, there is a bedrock layer of unbelieving presuppositions and biblical inconsistency. If only they would take Scripture as seriously as they take other fields of study.
- The Armchair Critics are always among the most frustrating to deal with. They tend to be lazy and brash, always casting doubts into the mix, but never taking responsibility to put forth a consistent, much less superior, alternative viewpoint. They are like the factious man of Titus 3:10, whom we’re to reject after the first and second warning. But that’s not easy to do in a real and challenging situation.
The dividing line is simply, “Do you believe the Bible, or do you not?”
Evolution, Creation, and the Public Schools
One of the most amazing phenomena in the history of education is that a speculative philosophy based on no true scientific evidence could have been universally adopted and taught as scientific fact, in all the public schools. This philosophy has been made the very framework of modern education and the underlying premise in all textbooks. It constitutes the present world-view of liberal intellectuals in every field. This is the philosophy of evolution.
Although widely promoted as a scientific fact, evolution has never been proven scientifically. Some writers still call it the theory of evolution, but even this is too generous. A scientific hypothesis should be capable of being tested in some way, to determine whether or not it is true, but evolution cannot be tested. No laboratory experiment can either confirm or falsify a process which, by its very nature, requires millions of years to accomplish significant results. Evolution is, therefore, neither fact, theory, nor hypothesis. It is a belief—and nothing more.
When creationists propose, however, that creation be taught in the schools along with evolution, evolutionists commonly react emotionally, rather than scientifically. Their “religion” of naturalism and humanism has been in effect the established religion of the state for a hundred years, and they fear competition.
In the present world, neither evolution nor creation is taking place, so far as can be observed (and science is supposed to be based on observation!). Cats beget cats and fruit-flies beget fruit-flies. Life comes only from life. There is nothing new under the sun. Neither evolution nor creation is accessible to the scientific method, since they deal with origins and history, not with presently observable and repeatable events. They can, however, be formulated as scientific models, or frameworks, within which to predict and correlate observed facts. Neither can be proven; neither can be tested. They can only be compared in terms of the relative ease with which they can explain data which exist in the real world.
There are, therefore, sound scientific and pedagogical reasons why both models should be taught, as objectively as possible, in public classrooms, giving arguments pro and con for each. Some students and their parents believe in creation, some in evolution, and some are undecided. If creationists desire only the creation model to be taught, they should send their children to private schools which do this; if evolutionists want only evolution to be taught, they should provide private schools for that purpose alone. The public schools should be neutral and either teach both or teach neither.
This is clearly the most equitable and constitutional approach. Many people have been led to believe, however, that court decisions restricting “religious” teaching in the public schools apply to “creation” teaching and not to “evolution” teaching. Nevertheless, creationism is actually a far more effective scientific model than evolutionism, and evolution requires a far more credulous religious faith in the illogical and unproveable than does creation. An abundance of sound scientific literature is available today to document this statement, but few evolutionists have bothered to read any of it. Many of those who have read it have become creationists!
What can creationists do to help bring about a more equitable treatment of this vital issue in the public schools? How can they help their own children in the meantime? The following suggestions are in order of recommended priority. All involve effort and expense, but the stakes are high and the need is urgent:
- Most basic is the necessity for each concerned creationist himself to become informed on the issue and the scientific facts involved. He does not need to be a scientist to do this, but merely to read several of the scholarly creationist books that are now available. He should also study creationist literature that demonstrates the fallacious nature of the various compromising positions such as theistic evolution, day-age theory, gap theory, local flood theory, etc., in order to be on solid ground in his own convictions.
- He should then see that his own children and young people, as well as others for whom he is concerned, have access to similar literature on their own level. He also should be aware of the teachings they are currently receiving in school and help them find answers to the problems they are encountering. He should encourage them always to be gracious and respectful to the teacher, but also to look for opportunities in speeches, term papers, quizzes, etc., to show that, although they understand the arguments for evolution, the creationist model can also be held and presented scientifically.
- If he learns of teachers who are obviously bigoted and unfair toward students of creationist convictions, it would be well for him to talk with the teacher himself, as graciously as possible, pointing out the true nature of the issue and requesting the teacher to present both points of view to the students. Under some circumstances, this might be followed up by similar talks with the principal and superintendent.
- Many teachers and administrators are quite willing to present both viewpoints, but have been unaware that there does exist a solid scientific case for creation, and, therefore, they don’t know how to do this. There is thus a great need for teachers, room libraries, and school libraries to be supplied with sound creationist literature. Perhaps some schools, or even districts, will be willing to provide such literature themselves. If not, the other alternative is for parental associations, churches, or individuals to take on such a project as a public service. If sound creationist books are conveniently available, many teachers (not all, unfortunately, but far more than at present) would be willing to use them and to encourage their students to use them.
- Creationist parents, teachers, pastors, and others can join forces to sponsor meetings, seminars, teaching institutes, etc., in their localities. Qualified creationist scientists can be invited to speak at such meetings, and if adequate publicity, especially on a person-to-person basis, is given, a real community-wide impact can be made in this way. Especially valuable, when such invitations can be arranged, are opportunities for creationist scientists to speak at meetings of scientists or educators. Also such men can be invited to speak in churches or in other large gatherings of interested laymen.
- Discussions can be held with officials at high levels (state education boards, district boards, superintendents, etc.) to acquaint them with the evidences supporting creation and the importance of the issue. They can be requested to inform the teachers of their state or district that the equal teaching of evolution and creation, not on a religious basis, but as scientific models, is both permitted and encouraged. Cases of unfair discrimination against creationist minorities in classrooms can be reported, and most officials at such levels are sufficiently concerned with the needs of all their constituents that, if they can first be shown there is a valid scientific case for creation and that evolution has at least as much religious character as does creation, they will quite probably favor such a request.
- Public response can be made that is always of a scientific, rather than emotional flavor to newspaper stories, television programs, etc., which favor evolution. Those responses may be in the form of letters-to-the-editor, protest letters to sponsors, news releases, and other means.
- Financial support should be provided for those organizations attempting in a systematic way to do scientific research, produce creationist textbooks and other literature, and to provide formal instruction from qualified scientists in the field of creationism. This can be done both through individual gifts and bequests and through budgeted giving by churches and other organizations.
It should be noted that no recommendation is made for political or legal pressure to force the teaching of creationism in the schools. Some well-meaning people have tried this, and it may serve the purpose of generating publicity for the creationist movement. In general, however, such pressures are self-defeating. “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
Force generates reaction, and this is especially true in such a sensitive and vital area as this. The hatchet job accomplished on the fundamentalists by the news media and the educational establishment following the Scopes trial in 1925 is a type of what could happen, in the unlikely event that favorable legislation or court decisions could be obtained by this route.
Reasonable persuasion is the better route. “The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves” (II Timothy 2:24, 25).