WHERE WE STAND, AND WHY
by Brad T. Bromling
Brad T. Bromling graduated from the Memphis School
of Preaching, received his B.A. in Bible from Freed-
Hardeman College, and earned the M.A. in Religion
from the Alabama Christian School of Religion. He
serves as the Director of Biblical Research at
Uncertainty! Modern man is drifting aimlessly upon the sea of
uncertainty. He is unsure about his origin, his purpose for existing,
and his destiny. In his bewilderment, he reaches for stability in
humanism, materialism, and scientism---not realizing that his efforts
are nothing more than a grasping for the wind. Sadly, many Christians
have failed to fortify their faith in this age of despair.
Consequently, the church has experienced the confusion of ignorance and
the damage of compromise. As a needed reaction, Apologetics Press was
begun, and continues to grow. Its purpose is to shine the beacon of
objective truth through the dense fog of spiritual chaos and guide
uncertain souls to the shore of true stability. For those who are
unfamiliar with our work, this article is designed to delineate where
we stand, and why.
Apologetics Press has two major thrusts: apologetics and
creationism. These two are inextricably linked. Since creationism is
built upon the bedrock of apologetics, it is with this foundation that
we begin. Christian apologetics is the academic discipline concerned
with offering a reasoned defense of Christianity. The English word
"apology" is derived from the Greek `apologia,' which means to "defend"
or "make a defense." The New Testament employs the word in this way.
Two examples are noteworthy. Peter stressed the importance of a
rational foundation upon which to build saving faith when he exhorted
But sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready
always to give answer (Greek---`apologian') to every man that
asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet
with meekness and fear (I Peter 3:15).
Paul recognized this obligation and said he was "set for the
defense of the Gospel" (Philippians 1:16,17). His letters teem with
sound arguments which provide a rational undergirding for his readers'
The Christian Faith is not a vague, emotionally based belief-
structure designed for uncritical simpletons. It is a logical system of
thought which may be both defended and accepted by analytical minds.
This should not be taken to mean that one must be formally trained in
logic to understand the Gospel (for even children understand its basic
premises), but that Christianity is capable of rational defense. The
"case for Christianity" involves arguing for the existence of God, the
inspiration of the Bible, the deity of Jesus Christ, and the uniqueness
of Christianity as the one true religion of the one true God. Evidence
for each of these propositions may be briefly summarized as follows.
First, belief in God's existence is warranted by a simple
acknowledgment of the principle of causation (i.e., every effect has an
adequate cause). The Universe is here---what is its cause? Since it is
a truism that no material thing can create itself , the Universe must
have a cause which is greater than, and prior to, it. An examination of
the world around man reveals intelligent and intricate design. Design
demands a designer, and the world's design demands the existence of a
Designer. Even the Bible argues from cause to effect: "For every house
is builded by someone; but he that built all things is God" (Hebrews
3:4). Nature's testimony alone is sufficient to lead one to belief in a
Creator (Psalm 19:1,2; 14:1). In fact, the evidence is so compelling
that man has no excuse for unbelief (Romans 1:19,20). Further, the
moral faculty of man is an effect which requires a cause. Since, among
Earth's life forms man alone is a moral creature, there must be a cause
which resides beyond the reach of this material world; hence God must
The Bible Is God's Word
Second, accepting that God exists leads one to inquire as to
whether or not God would communicate with man. If God has any
information which mankind needs, it stands to reason that He would
reveal it in the form of permanent human communication (i.e., through
the written word). This being true, it is appropriate to examine the
Bible to see if it qualifies as a book from God. There are several
things which we might reasonably expect of a divine volume. The Bible
not only meets such expectations (e.g., it claims divine authorship, it
exhibits miraculous harmony, it is absolutely flawless and timeless,
etc.), but actually exceeds them. The Bible is replete with examples
of fulfilled prophecy and scientific foreknowledge---factors which
elevate it far above any book of mere human invention. Paul said, "All
scripture is given by inspiration of God (literally, "God-breathed"---
BB), and is profitable..." (II Timothy 3:16); when investigated
honestly, the truth of this claim is obviated.
Jesus Is Divine
Third, belief in the deity of Jesus Christ is mandated by an
impressive battery of evidence. Some of this proof comes in the form of
fulfilled prophecies (over three hundred). Much of Christ's biography
was written by the prophets hundreds of years before He was born in
Bethlehem. This proves He was, and remains, all He claimed. The
miracles of Christ also confirm His deity. John wrote, "Many other
signs [miraculous works---<MS>BB'] therefore did Jesus in the presence
of the disciples...but these are written, that ye may believe that
Jesus is the Christ, the son of God..." (John 20:30,31). One of the
most impressive miracles involving Jesus was His resurrection. Not only
did it occur precisely as predicted by David (cf. Acts 2:22-36; Psalm
16:8-11), and Jesus Himself (e.g., Matthew 20:18,19), but His
resurrected form was seen by over five hundred witnesses (I Corinthians
15:4-8)! By this miracle Christ's deity was demonstrated with power
Christianity: The One True Religion
Fourth, Christianity's distinctive position (as the only religion
approved by God) is substantiated overwhelmingly by the New Testament.
Since Jesus truly possesses all authority (Matthew 28:18), it stands to
reason that His religion is the only one divinely authorized. Jesus
spoke of building His church (Matthew 16:18), that church is His body
(Ephesians 1:22,23), and there is only one body (Ephesians 4:4). The
suggestion that man is free to "choose his own way" to God is an insult
to the One who died for the sins of the whole world (John 1:29; 3:16;
Although these propositions are important individually, their
significance is strongest when taken collectively. This is seen when
they are viewed negatively. Namely, if God does not exist, the Bible
cannot be His Word. If the Bible is not God's Word , Jesus' identity
and mission is a mystery, and Christianity is no more essential than
any man-made system of thought.
It is only upon the foundation of apologetics that a viable case
for creationism may be built. Without this base, creationism cannot
stand. "Creationism" may be defined as the school of thought which
takes the biblical account of creation seriously, and at face value. It
views the early chapters of Genesis as the reliable record of the
origin of the material universe, and of the life it contains. There are
at least three primary tenets of creationism:(1)the universe was
created by Divine fiat;(2)the Earth is relatively young; and(3)the
Flood described in Genesis 6-8 was global in extent. These items are
not nonessential, negotiable doctrines which one may accept or reject
at will. They are either true or false---it matters which.
Creation vs. Evolution
There are basically two views of origins: (1) God created
everything; or (2) life evolved from non-living matter and continues to
evolve into varied life forms. These views are locked in an eternal
struggle, and illustrate the dichotomy between theism (belief in God)
and atheism (rejection of belief in God). Granted, a compromise is
often attempted, but the hybrid belief (theistic evolution) is an
illegitimate child rejected by both parents. Evolution knows nothing of
God, and Christians cannot accept a theory which only calls upon God to
temporarily fill gaps until they can be filled with data gained by
empirical inquiry. Further, God told us that He created everything
("In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"--Genesis 1:1)
how He did it ("he spoke and it was done; he commanded and it stood
fast"---Psalm 33:9), and when He did it (the biblical evidence for a
young Earth is both obvious and overwhelming). To accept evolution, or
the compromise of theistic evolution, is to reject God's testimony and
count His Word as untrue. If a man cannot believe God's Word concerning
creation, how can he be sure it has the truth on salvation?
The Young Earth
Views regarding the age of the Earth are shaped by essentially two
factors: philosophy and interpretation. The evolutionist approaches the
world with a belief that evolution has occurred (his philosophy), and
interprets the data in accordance with that belief. He accepts two
things: (1) evolution requires vast amounts of time to work; and (2)
evolution has occurred. One would not measure the ocean with a
micrometer, nor would the evolutionist attempt to measure what he is
"positive" is an ancient Earth with dating methods which produce a
young age (e.g., a few thousand years). The creationist approaches the
same data with a belief in recent creation (his philosophy), and
interprets the data accordingly. The difference between these two
approaches is that the latter has a rational foundation, while the
former does not. It defies logic to view the obvious design of the
universe and reject belief in a Designer; and it is irrational to
reject the only written record of creation (authored by the Creator
Himself), in favor of a theory of origins based upon atheism. That
record leaves no doubt about the time and duration of Creation. "For
in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in
them is..." (Exodus 20:11).
The Global Flood
The Flood of Genesis 6-8 has been attacked repeatedly, and rejected
as impossible by those who view miracles as superstition. But, the
global Flood is important to creationism for two reasons. First, its
universal extent is taught plainly in Scripture---and that must be
respected. Second, it answers a great many questions regarding the
Earth's geologic history. Much of what evolutionists believe about the
age of the Earth is based upon the assumption that current processes
(e.g., erosion from wind and rain) have remained relatively constant
throughout time. However, since a global Flood (of the magnitude
described in Genesis 7,8) could accomplish more in one year than could
countless seasons of wind and rain, calculations of the Earth's age
would be wholly meaningless if they failed to factor-in such a
Each of these tenets is important because it is mandated by Scripture,
and confirmed by reason. While it is unpopular in many circles to
affirm creationism, it is irrational to do otherwise. Apologetics
Press, standing upon the solid bedrock of Christian apologetics and
affirming the tenets of creationism, is seeking to provide a logical
defense of Christianity. In this age of increasing atheism and
uncertainty, it is a work which is needed now more than ever!
AN INTRODUCTION TO APOLOGETICS PRESS
[Editors' Note: With this issue, Apologetics Press
celebrates ten years of publishing Reason & Revelation.
On this occasion we are departing from our normal format
to produce a special issue. Next month we will return to
the regular format of four pages. The articles which
follow are intended to introduce you to the work of
Apologetics Press, and those associated with it. We hope
you enjoy this tenth anniversary edition.]
Bert Thompson earned the Ph.D. in microbiology from Texas
A&M University. He is a former professor in the College
of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M, where he also served
as Coordinator of the Cooperative Education Program in
Biomedical Science. He is Professor of Bible and Science
at the Alabama Christian School of Religion.
BEGINNING---A DECADE AGO
The idea for the work in which we are now involved dates to the
late 1970's, when Wayne Jackson and Bert Thompson met and discovered
their mutual interest in the field of Christian apologetics. As a
strong friendship developed, it became evident to both of them that
there was a vital need for sound, scholarly materials in this area---
materials which could be used both to strengthen the faith of the
Christian and to convert the non-Christian. A distinct void existed
among the churches of Christ in regard to the availability of
scripturally sound, scientifically accurate materials on apologetics.
Accordingly, plans were laid which would result ultimately in the work
known as Apologetics Press. In late 1979 the necessary legal steps were
begun which would allow the work to be recognized as strictly non-
profit by both State and Federal governments. Then, in 1980-81 the
Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) recognized the work as a non-profit,
REASON & REVELATION
There were many among the churches of Christ who shared our dream,
and who wanted to assist in the production of materials in apologetics.
With their support, and a shoestring budget, we began preparing and
publishing materials in this much-neglected field. In January, 1981 the
premier issue of our monthly journal on Christian evidences, Reason &
Revelation, was mailed. This paper has always served as our "flagship"
publication. Originally the paper was produced in a 7 x 8" inch format
with four pages of text, and cost $2.00 for a year's subscription. In
1983 the format was changed to 8" x 11 inches, making for better
readability. The cost was then set at $3.00 per year, and has remained
at that rate ever since. Over time, the mailing list grew to almost
4,000 in number. In 1988 it was suggested that we somehow provide (in
addition to our regular-length, fully-documented articles) shorter,
strictly Bible-related articles on apologetics which could be
reproduced in church bulletins, printed in newspapers, and used in
other similar projects. We believed this was an excellent idea, and in
January, 1989 `Reasoning from Revelation' was born. This smaller
journal now accompanies each issue of `Reason & Revelation'---at no
extra cost. It has always been our intention to produce a journal which
is scholarly (biblically and scientifically), inexpensive, and aimed at
the "man on the street." As we enter our tenth year of publication, we
hold fast to that concept.
Because of the relevance and timeliness of the issues discussed in
the pages of `Reason & Revelation', it was decided that every two years
those articles would be placed in a more permanent form under the title
of `Essays in Apologetics'. To date, we have produced four such books
(1981/82; 1983/84; 1985/86; 1987/88). Others will be added every two
As time passed, the growth of Apologetics Press was nothing short
of phenomenal. We introduced our "Manuscript Referral Service," which
provides monographs on a variety of topics in apologetics. Today there
are over 60 titles available. In 1983 we introduced our new `Study
Course in Christian Evidences,' a series of 13 written lessons suitable
for use either in Bible classes or as a correspondence course.
Simultaneously, we began to publish tracts on a variety of topics such
as God's existence, the Bible's inspiration, the deity of Christ, and
creation/evolution. We now publish over 50 tracts, and have many more
in preparation. By 1984 we were heavily involved in producing audio
tapes as well. Today we have over 80 titles covering such topics as
genetic engineering, current issues in evolution, situation ethics,
scientific foreknowledge of the Bible, and many others. In mid-1988 we
produced an entire `Study Course in Christian Evidences' on video tape,
complete with 33 lessons of 38-minutes each, suitable for use both in
Bible class settings and personal study. In addition, we also have
available the "That You May Believe... series. Each of these books is
24-48 pages in length, and covers a single topic. Currently there are
six titles available; others are in various stages of production.
Another project resulting from readers' comments is our new offering of
`Reason & Revelation' on audio tape for the sight-impaired. Effective
January, 1989 all issues of the journal are professionally read onto
audio tapes, which are made available at cost.
As we begin the tenth year of `Reason & Revelation', we are now
pleased to introduce another new journal. One of the most neglected
areas in the field of apologetics has been in regard to materials for
young children. We, however, purposed not just to "curse the darkness"
but to "light a lamp," as the old saying goes. January, 1990 marks the
publication of the premier issue of our new paper of Bible and science
for kids---"Discovery". Each day our children must face the onslaught
of an unbelieving world as it presents its views through public
schools, news media, and other influential sources. We believe our
children need to see "the rest of the story."`Discovery' intends to
present just that---and in a format designed to reach our children
through the use of larger print, eye-catching colors, beautiful
illustrations, etc. We believe this is not just an idea whose time has
come; we believe it is an idea whose time is long overdue.
ANNUAL SUMMER SEMINAR
In addition to our published materials, we also felt that it would
be wise to provide personal instruction in apologetics for those
desiring additional "meat" in this area. In July, 1987 we held our
first annual summer seminar on Christian evidences. Each year's program
has been a four-day, intense period of study; each has been filled to
capacity; and each has been a resounding success.
BEAUTIFUL PHYSICAL PLANT
As the years passed, and as growth occurred in what seemed
geometric progression, many changes occurred in the work. Surely one of
the most important came in 1985. From 1979-1983 the work of Apologetics
Press was housed (literally) in our living rooms. In the summer of
1983, we rented office space. Then, in 1985 Apologetics Press moved
into its own new, 11,000 square foot, two-story building in Montgomery,
Alabama. Because of the dedication of so many people who assisted this
work financially in such a faithful and sacrificial way, the new
building was built without having to borrow any funds from lending
institutions, or having to pay a single penny in interest. There is no
mortgage on the building, which was built at a total cost of $264,881
(or $24.08 per square foot). Those who have seen it firsthand will
readily tell you that it is a beautiful facility, built for many years
OUR FINANCES---AN OPEN BOOK
From the very beginning, we have tried to be extremely diligent
about being good stewards of monies entrusted to us. All funds received
are used for the publication and distribution of additional materials.
The only salaries that have ever been paid from incoming funds have
been for secretarial staff. Professional staff members have never taken
salaries from funds given to Apologetics Press. Since our inception we
have published public financial statements (at first quarterly, and now
semi-annually), which are distributed through the pages of `Reason &
Revelation'. Our financial books are overseen on a yearly basis by a
professional firm of certified public accountants, which also submits
to the I.R.S. all necessary forms, as required by law. It is of vital
importance to us that our supporters know how their funds are being
In June of 1986, it was with great pleasure that we announced the
addition to our staff of Trevor J. Major, who had just arrived from New
Zealand after completing degrees in geology. Trevor was originally
designated as our Director of Research, a position which he occupied
for two years. The work load, however, necessitated the addition of yet
another man only two years later. Since Trevor's training was in
science, we felt it wise to add someone with training in religion so as
to "even out" the staff. We believe such balance is essential to the
well-being of the work as a whole. In June of 1988, we announced the
addition of Brad T. Bromling, who came to us from Lindale, Georgia.
Brad has six years of preaching experience and holds degrees in Bible.
He was employed as Director of Biblical Research. Trevor was then
reassigned as Director of Scientific Research, and handles
correspondence and other duties associated with the scientific aspects
of our work. Brad handles correspondence and other duties which relate
directly to biblical matters, and is serving as the editor of both
`Reasoning from Revelation' and `Discovery'.
The future looks especially bright for the work of Apologetics
Press. But let us give credit where credit is due. First, we are
grateful to the Lord Who, through His providence, has richly blessed us
in so many ways. Second, of course, we are grateful to those who have
sacrificed financially down through the years so that this work could
flourish and succeed. Third, we are grateful to those who have assisted
us in ways other than financially, through their volunteer work, their
recommendation of the work to others, or their prayers.
We hope you will enjoy this special double issue of `Reason &
Revelation'. We invite your attention to the articles which follow. If
we may assist you in any way, please call on us. We are here to serve.
THE MODERN CREATION SCIENCE MOVEMENT
Trevor J. Major received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees
in Earth Sciences from the University of Waikato in
New Zealand. He also earned an M.A. degree in
religion from the Alabama Christian School of Religion,
and serves as the Director of Scientific Research at
Apologetics Press is a relative newcomer to the worldwide
creationism movement, which itself has fairly recent origins. What,
then, makes the modern creationism movement so special? There are,
perhaps, two important differences between modern creationism, and
creationism of old. First, modern creationism draws extensively on
knowledge from many scientific disciplines. This was not necessary,
say, in the eighteenth century, when the majority in academia saw no
conflict between science and a belief in God. However, attitudes
changed dramatically as a result of the Age of Enlightenment and the
Industrial Revolution. The natural and the supernatural became
irreconcilably detached, and science and technology were seen as man's
By the beginning of the twentieth century, evolution had attained
preeminence in intellectual circles; meanwhile, "mainline"
denominations openly compromised the Genesis record. As a result, many
outspoken "creationists" in this period were proponent s of either the
gap or day-age theories. One exception was George McCready Price---a
self-taught geologist, Seventh-Day Adventist, and literal creationist.
From 1902 to 1956, Price published numerous works attacking evolution
through criticism of prevailing geological theories (McIver, 1988, pp
215-221). By the early 1940's, Price and his contemporaries had
assembled the majority of arguments used in creationism today.
In this milieu of religious change came the famous trial of John
Thomas Scopes in 1925. The Scopes trial was really a struggle over the
right of devout Bible-believers to safeguard the spiritual education of
their children in state schools. Thanks to the media's portrayal of the
trial, creationism became an unacceptable alternative to evolutionism.
By default, neo-Darwinism was made the official curriculum of origins
education in the public education system. Following the Scopes trial,
creationism went largely underground, retreating into the homes and
churches of conservative Bible believers.
This situation changed with the Second World War, and the space
race of the fifties and sixties. These events elevated the status of
science, underscored the need for better science education, and led to
greater involvement by the government in major science activities. One
agency, the National Science Foundation, helped to sponsor the
Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS). Beginning in 1960, the
BSCS produced a series of comprehensive high school textbooks on
biology. These books played a strategic role in making organic
evolution the central theme of biological science. They also awakened
many people from their apathy toward the Creation, and emphasized the
need for increased scientific content in creationism.
Committed creationists found themselves increasingly at odds with
the scientific, educational, and governmental establishments. They
needed a way to disseminate information, and present a unified front
against evolutionism. This was achieved through the formation of
creationist organizations---thus creating the second distinction
between creationism of today and of yesteryear. While a few groups
existed in the first half of the century, the most influential
organizations have been formed in the last thirty years (e.g., Creation
Research Society, 1963; Bible-Science Association, 1964; and Institute
for Creation Research, 1972).
Other organizations have since proliferated, as have the number of
books and periodicals on the subject. Of all these writings, perhaps
the most influential has been `The Genesis Flood' (Whitcomb and Morris,
1961). The book arrived in the early sixties---a critical time in
creationism---and allowed Bible-believers to read a full, well-written,
accessible defense of the Creation, the Flood, and a young Earth.
Creationism's low profile soon changed as outspoken religious
people were provoked into action by the increasing dominance of
evolutionism. As in the Scopes case, the issue centered on the right
of these concerned individuals to determine the spiritual welfare of
children entrusted to the care of state schools. What followed was an
attempt to legislate either creationism into the classroom, or
evolutionism out of the classroom. The Louisiana and Arkansas Balanced
Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Acts (both 1981),
were two noteworthy attempts. Eventually, all such acts were struck
down as unconstitutional.
In the wake of the court battles, many creationists remain adamant
that creationism should be taught alongside evolutionism in public
schools. However, a growing number of creationists question the wisdom
of this "two-model" approach which, despite its good intentions,
downplays belief in God, and naively expects all teachers to present
both sides fairly (Jackson, 1988). Still others are advocating home
schooling, thus bypassing the issue of teaching origins in public
school classrooms altogether. Whatever the outcome of efforts in public
schools, the ultimate responsibility for teaching about the Creator
will reside, as always, with the family and with the church.
The increased prominence of creationism has created a backlash
among evolutionists and humanists. Their main thrust is to keep
creationism out of public schools, and to diminish its impact on
society in general. Like modern creationists, committed evolutionists
form vociferous special interest groups, and publish many periodicals
and books advocating their cause.
The primary tactic of evolutionists is to deprive creationism of
any scientific basis. They suggest that the term "creation science" is
an oxymoron---a contradiction in terms. Creationism, they object, uses
religious concepts, is not empirically testable, is a dogmatic biblical
doctrine and thus not subject to rejection as part of the scientific
method, and critiques evolution while having no positive evidence in
its favor. These complaints have been addressed elsewhere (e.g.,
Moreland, 1989, pp 221-234). The point is, creationism uses science and
the Bible in discovering the origins of life and the world.
Evolutionism also uses science to build an origins framework but,
unlike creationism, restricts itself to purely natural causes (Geisler
and Anderson, 1987, p 128).
Further, evolutionists do not want creationists involved in
evolutionary debates. If fellow evolutionists want to discuss the
substance of evolution, then this is acceptable. However, if
creationists intrude on this debate and "steal" some of the dialogue to
attack the fact of evolution, then this is not acceptable. For example,
Stephen Jay Gould often critiques various doctrines of neo-Darwinian
evolution in the process of promoting punctuated equilibrium. Not
surprisingly, these discussions provide plenty of fodder for the
creationists' assault on evolution. It is no less wonder that Gould is
quite caustic in his treatment of creationists, often prefacing any
critical remarks on evolution with a cursory swipe at creationism.
Another favorite tactic is to undermine the credibility of
creationists, many of whom have respectable scientific degrees and
qualifications. Such credentials have greatly influenced the acceptance
of creationism. But anti-creationists wish to downplay any connection
between scientific ability and reliability. For example, Lewis Jones
tries to separate "Science-2" specialists (those who operate with the
"nuts and bolts" of science), and "Science-1" thinkers (those who are
capable of rational problem-solving). In his view, rocket scientist
Wernher von Braun was a great Science-2 person, but his belief in
Special Creation excludes him from Science-1 ranking (Jones, 1989, p
60). In response, it must simply be recognized that a search for the
truth transcends such arbitrary distinctions.
Not all criticisms of creationists by evolutionists are unfounded.
It would be foolish to insist that `The Genesis Flood' should remain
unchanged and unchallenged forever. There is a dire need for
creationists to expand their empirical basis, and to update and refine
their scientific arguments. Fortunately, rigorous scientists like
Charles Thaxton are restating the philosophical approach. Others are
contributing solid scientific research, like John Woodmorappe's work on
fossils, and John Baumgardner's simulations of geological changes
during the Flood.
As Director of Scientific Research at Apologetics Press, the
preceding issues are of special interest to me. Yet there are other
problems of a more immediate and practical concern. First, there is the
increasing complexity of scientific discussions. If all arguments
could use the same body of knowledge familiar to George McCready Price,
then teaching on origins would be far less difficult. As it is, the
face of science has changed radically in the last fifty years or so. On
average, scientific information becomes outdated every six months.
Thus, there is the potential to invalidate an argument by ignoring
recent scientific discoveries and changes in evolutionary thinking.
Anyone who desires to teach on this subject must be prepared to handle
e new information and, more especially, be prepared to revise his
material, discarding some of it if necessary.
Second, there is the tendency of zealous creationists to leap
prematurely on bits of information which seem to support their beliefs.
Paul Bartz expressed the idea well when he wrote, "many Christians
grasp, with more eagerness than critical evaluation, any straw which
seems to be offered in favor [of] the biblical history. As a result,
Christians have not been as critical as they might have been about
certain lines of evidence" (1990, p 3).
The goal of Apologetics Press for the nineties, as it has been for
the last decade, is to disseminate the best information possible on
creation science, and apologetics in general. In so doing, the
literature will be scoured, and the origins controversy will be
monitored. This work will make every attempt to defend Christianity
till the year 2000 and beyond. We invite you to join us in our efforts
to proclaim the name of the Creator.
Bartz, Paul A. (1990), "Origins is a Religious Issue," `Bible-Science
Geisler, Norman L. and J. Kirby Anderson (1987), `Origin Science'
(Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House).
Jackson, Wayne (1988), "Reflections on the Recent Supreme Court
Decision," `Reason & Revelation', 7:31,32.
Jones, Lewis (1989), "The Two Cultures: A Resurrection," `The
Skeptical Inquirer', 14:57-64.
McIver, Tom (1988), `Anti-Evolution: An Annotated Bibliography'
(Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company).
Moreland, J.P. (1989), `Christianity and the Nature of Science' (Grand
Rapids, MI: Baker Book House).
Whitcomb, John C. and Henry M. Morris (1961), `The Genesis Flood'
(Grand Rapids, MI: Presbyterian & Reformed).
APOLOGETICS AND CREATIONISM---THEIR IMPORTANCE
Wayne Jackson, who earned the M.A. in Religion from the
Alabama Christian School of Religion, is the minister
for the East Main Church of Christ in Stockton, California.
He serves with Bert Thompson as co-editor of `Reason &
Revelation', and has edited the `Christian Courier' for
More than 3,000 years ago, Moses, armed with divine credentials,
walked into the stately presence of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, and
demanded: "Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, let my people go...."
Amazingly, the monarch replied: "Who is Jehovah, that I should hearken
unto his voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah..." (Exodus 5:1,2).
There are numerous souls of this age who proudly boast of being the
spiritual descendants of that ancient pagan king. To some, unbelief is
a mark of intellectual sophistication in a world enamored by philosophy
and science. Some boldly proclaim that faith in an Almighty God should
be relegated to the realm of superstition---it makes for nice fairy
tales, but is good for little else. In our day of ever-increasing
animosity toward God specifically, and religion in general, it is
deemed in some circles as poor judgment at best, and outright
foolishness at worst, to proclaim---much less defend---a belief in the
God of the Bible. Two questions obviously arise: (1) Why is this the
case; and (2) What, if anything, can be done about it?
CAUSES OF UNBELIEF
No doubt there are numerous reasons for the seemingly widespread
disbelief in, and antagonism toward, God. Some have a deep-seated
disdain for any kind of authority figure. One of the most dangerous
contributions a parent can make toward the spiritual delinquency of his
child is a failure to instill within him a wholesome respect for
authority. If the parent neglects to set the proper example as an
authority figure, or refuses to exercise discipline with love, he may
be rejected as an authority figure by the child, and thus by
transference the child may eventually come to disdain all authority,
including the supreme Authority, God. Disbelief in the goodness of
life, skepticism about humanity in general, and the denial of God all
sink their roots in the soil of emotion long before exposure to courses
in philosophy and science.
Another attitude which facilitates disbelief is an unhealthy lust
for power wrapped in a cloak of pride. German philosopher Friedrich
Nietzsche, who eventually went insane, once exclaimed: "If there were
gods, how could I endure it to be no god?" Faith in Jehovah simply
cannot abide in a heart so saturated with inordinate pride. A third
motivation for the rejection of God is the desire to be free of any and
all moral restraints. Aldous Huxley, the famed author and atheist, once
openly admitted that he rejected belief in God because it interfered
with his sexual freedom! Unbelievers speciously reason: If there is a
God, I must be morally responsible to Him. I will not be so restrained.
Thus, there is no God! The wickedness of man causes him to try to
rationalize his situation. King David pinpointed the problem centuries
ago when he exclaimed, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no
God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works; There is none
that doeth good" (Psalm 14:1). Dr. Wilbur M. Smith, in his classic
work, `Therefore Stand!', has noted: "One of the reasons why men refuse
to accept the Christian Faith is because the very principles of their
lives are in every way contradictory to the ethical principles of the
Bible, and, determined to remain in the lawlessness of their own
sensuality, they could not possibly embrace a holy religion nor walk
with a holy God, nor look for salvation to His holy Son, nor have any
love for His holy Word" (Smith, 1974, p 170).
Occasionally one may turn to atheism because his faith in someone
who professes to be a devotee of God has been shattered. Truly,
"confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken
tooth, and a foot out of joint" (Proverbs 25:19). While we may
certainly recognize the pain of witnessing the failure of someone in
whom we have trusted, we must also recognize that it is sheer folly to
blame Deity for the blunders of humanity. "It is better to take refuge
in Jehovah than to put confidence in man" (Psalm 118:8). Human
suffering has also been used as an excuse by man not to believe in God.
The atheist sees undeniable suffering, and assumes that no loving, kind
God such as the Bible depicts could ever allow this to occur. All the
while the atheist fails to examine the reason(s) behind the suffering,
or the purposes which suffering can have. We have dealt at length with
this elsewhere (Jackson, 1982), and do not have the space here to
provide an extensive rebuttal. But Scripture provides an answer to the
problems of evil, pain, and suffering and in so doing shows us that
God's existence is not impugned by such.
Undoubtedly one of the greatest obstacles to a modern-day faith in
God is the view that "science" has made such a faith obsolete. Science
has become a sacred cow and the laboratory a "holy of holies." While we
would not denigrate for a moment the great strides which science has
made (and continues to make), and while we gratefully acknowledge all
that we owe to science, it is likewise right and proper to admit that
science owes everything to God! But in an era when science has sent men
to the moon, eradicated smallpox, and unraveled the very mystery of
DNA as the "stuff of life," it is easy for man to feel smug and self-
sufficient in his scientific knowledge. Add to that self-sufficiency
the ever-increasing popularity of evolutionary thought---which says
that there is no God and that man has no master but himself---and it
becomes clear that one of the greatest obstacles to belief in God is
the pseudoscience of evolution as it is so masterfully foisted upon the
minds of men in this age.
THE TASK BEFORE US
But what can be done about all of this? Is it time to quietly
throw up our hands in despair? Must we simply sit idly by and allow the
"god of this world" (II Corinthians 4:4) to win the day? Hardly! There
is something that each of us can do. Paul, in Philippians 1:16,17,
specifically stated that he was "set for the defense of the gospel"---
which certainly implies that the gospel can be defended! And we must
defend it, for it is most assuredly under attack. Of primary
importance in this battle are these facts: (1) We are God's people. If
we do not proclaim and defend His Word, who will? (2) God has given us
the tools for this defense. Those tools reside both in His Word (II
Timothy 3:16,17) and in His creation (Romans 1:20,21). Proper use of
these tools, however, is ultimately our responsibility. (3) If we do
not adequately employ the various evidences which provide proof of
God's existence as Creator and Sustainer of the universe (Genesis
1:1ff), men will continue in their unbelief, and as a result will
reject His Son and the salvation He came to offer (Romans 6:23).
Suddenly, then, our defense (Greek, `apologia') of creation and of
Christianity becomes inseparable. One can hardly defend the Gospel
system without acknowledging (and defending) God's sovereignty in
creation. One cannot effectively proclaim that man fell from a covenant
relationship with his Creator, and is therefore desperately in need of
salvation from sin, until the fact is first established that there was
a Creation and a Fall.
The importance of the Creator/creation concept cannot be
overemphasized. In fact, the Lord Himself made that point clear in His
discussion in Matthew 19 (cf. Mark 10). In the context of responding to
the hypocritical Pharisees of His generation, Jesus pointedly asked:
"...Have ye not read [citing from Genesis 1:27---WJ] that he who made
them from the beginning made them male and female?"(vs. 4). Here Christ
plainly affirmed that: (1) there was a beginning; (2) the first couple
was made; (3) they were male and female. When Christ spoke of Adam and
Eve being "made," He used the aorist Greek verb `epoiesen', stressing
the fact that this pair was made by single acts of creation. Had the
Lord subscribed to the notion that the first humans evolved over vast
ages of time, He would have employed the Greek imperfect tense, which
is designed to emphasize progressive action at some time in the past.
Thus Christ actually verbally refuted the concept of evolutionary
development. And He was certainly in a position to know what took place
in the beginning, for He was there (John 1:1ff) and was the active
agent in creation (Colossians 1:16). When men attempt to dismiss Adam
as merely a fictional character, they place Jesus in an exceedingly
unfavorable light. Indeed, Adam and Christ stand or fall together, for
the Lord said: "If ye believed Moses, ye would believe me; for he wrote
of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my
words?" (John 5:46,47).
Additionally, inspired writers of the New Testament made doctrinal
arguments which depended upon the historical validity of the Genesis
account. Paul acknowledged that woman is of (`ek'---a Greek preposition
meaning "out of") man (I Corinthians 11:8,12). He called Adam and Eve
by name in I Timothy 2:13. The apostle considered Adam as historical as
Moses (Romans 5:14), and clearly stated that "...the serpent deceived
Eve by his craftiness" (II Corinthians 11:3). In Romans 1:20 Paul
wrote: "For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world
are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made,
even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without
excuse...." The point could hardly be any clearer. The power and deity
of the Creator have been perceived and observed since the creation of
the world! Interestingly, the Greek word Paul employed for "perceived"
is the word `noeo', which is used in the New Testament for rational,
human perception. Thus, someone (human) had been perceiving the things
that were made "since the creation of the world." This flies in the
face of everything evolution teaches. The Lord and His inspired writers
affirmed that man has been here "since the beginning of the creation."
Evolutionists affirm that man is a "Johnny-come-lately" who has been
here only 3-4 million years out of an alleged Earth history of 4.6
billion years. A choice must be made: do we accept and defend the
Creator and His narrative of what He did, or do we accept and defend
the man-made theory of evolution, which has as its ultimate purpose a
repudiation of God's existence?
Who could ever even begin to imagine the numbers of people who have
either lost their faith in God, or who have been prevented from coming
to Him in humble obedience in the first place, because of the seeds of
unbelief planted at a tender young age, watered by the fountains of
infidelity, and fertilized by the false theories of a disillusioned
generation? Would we have ever believed that in America, where 60 years
ago the teaching of evolution was forbidden in public schools, the
teaching of creation would be prohibited? Would we have ever believed
that we would lose 60-80% of our young people after they leave for
college? Would we have ever believed that this so-called "Christian
nation" would be murdering by abortion well over 1.5 million innocent,
unborn children every year? Yet all of this, and much more, has come to
"All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do
nothing." Will we "do nothing"? Or will we rise to the challenge? If we
are as unashamed of biblical truth as Paul was (Romans 1:16), and if we
believe that it is "the power of God unto salvation to all them that
believe," then our defense and proclamation of it must be as fervent,
and as effectual, as that presented in the Scriptures. That is the aim
of our work at Apologetics Press. We are diligently attempting to
proclaim, and defend, the Holy Scriptures. We are "set for the defense"
of that soul-saving message. Won't you join hands with us in this
defense? History is waiting on us!
Jackson, Wayne (1982), "Does Human Suffering Disprove the Existence of
a Benevolent God?," `Reason & Revelation,' 2:13-15.
Smith, Wilbur M. (1974), `Therefore Stand!' (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker
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