I am a local church planter and pastor who believes the Bible and understands science points to the absolute truth of God’s Word. Recently, I was invited to witness to a group of atheists at Creation Ministries of the Ozarks (CMOTO). CMOTO has a museum dedicated to defending the six literal, 24-hour days of creation found in Genesis. Every year my hometown of Springfield has the largest gathering of atheists in the Midwest. A previous year’s theme for their gathering was Unbuckling the Bible Belt, an indication of their intentions.
More than 200 atheists lined up to enter the museum and engage in conversation with a dozen Christians from various denominational backgrounds who agreed with the biblical account of creation. Joining me was a local university science professor and a converted atheist with a background in chemistry and food science.
With only a dozen of us and more than 200 of them it was a David and Goliath event. Many Christians have retreated from the battlefront of evolution versus creation. They have given up the fight for a literal Genesis account, and many have joined the other side. Many pastors and parishioners, based on their understanding of science, now doubt a literal creation account in Genesis. Why? Most Christians believe the clarity of the Bible concerning the person and work of Jesus, the free gift of salvation, and other fundamental doctrines. Regarding the days of creation, however, they find the Bible vague, silent, or unknowable.
According to Ken Ham’s book, Already Gone, a primary reason children and young adults leave the Church is they no longer believe the Bible is historically accurate and can be trusted, especially regarding creation and the origins of life. When students have questions concerning details of biblical creation, many parents and church leaders cannot give them logical, intelligent answers consistent with Scripture. When Christians cannot give a reasonable defense for what they believe, doubt arises in the hearts of those they are trying to reach.
How do Christians address those who doubt the historicity of the Bible, defend the Genesis account of creation, and refute teachings such as evolution and the big bang? Christians need to adopt an apologetic and educate themselves on the mechanics involved in creation. Believers need to know and understand what the Bible reveals concerning the origins of life and have sufficient understanding of the science behind it. The Bible and science are not in conflict as Christians are led to believe.
Some of the greatest scientists believed in God and the Genesis account of creation. Nicholas Copernicus (1473–1543) put forward the first mathematically based system of planets revolving around the sun. Copernicus referenced God in his works and did not believe science conflicted with the Bible. Sir Francis Bacon (1561–1627) established the scientific method of inquiry. Bacon stated in De Interpretatione Naturae Prooemium his goals in life were to discover the truth, serve his country, and serve the church. Max Planck (1858–1947), a 20th-century scientist, developed quantum theory, allowing scientists around the globe to know and understand the atomic and sub-atomic worlds.
Parents, home educators, and church leaders need to stop teaching the Bible as a collection of stories. Noah’s ark was not a little boat with a few animals sticking their heads out the windows. Christians must be able to accurately present the Bible and provide a reasonable defense for what they believe.
This is a daunting task and requires courage, study and perseverance. I encourage Christians to utilize the many resources available today. Nationally recognized ministries, such as Answers in Genesis and The Institute for Creation Research, are invaluable information sources Christians can use to learn creation science. I also encourage parents, home educators, and churches to partner with local ministries, such as Creation Ministries of the Ozarks, and learn creation science while supporting their efforts.
The Billy Graham era of evangelism is over. Our nation is no longer a 1950s society where most Americans have a religious background. Most Americans do not know the God of the Bible or what God reveals about the origins of the cosmos and life. They do not know through Adam sin entered the world and through Christ sin was vanquished. They do not know they need a Savior.
Our society is not an Acts 2 society. When Peter witnessed to the Jews, he understood their high level of knowledge regarding God, the creation account, and the law. Today, however, Christians are living on Mars Hill among the Greeks of Paul’s day (Acts 17). Paul witnessed to people who had little or no understanding of God and His Word. When Paul witnessed, he started at the beginning of time. He had to show the Greeks they were lost before He could show them their need of a Savior.
The book of Genesis holds every major doctrine of the Christian faith; it is the bedrock foundation for life. Christians need to enter the fight. Many have questions and need answers concerning God and His sufficient, infallible Word. God commands believers to give a reasonable defense when they respond because the stakes are high. Our answers may affect one’s eternal destiny.