Evolution, Creationism, and the Direction of the World

Dear Reader,

This is somewhat of a side topic to my current series on the creation/evolution debate, but I wanted to briefly address one idea I found on the Answers in Genesis (AIG) website. AIG is the go-to place for Young Earth Creationism (YEC), the view that the earth is no more than 10,000 years old, that evolution is completely untrue, and that Genesis 1 refers to six 24-hour days of creation. Also, they love acronyms.

I was reading an article on AIG’s website entitled “Twenty Reasons Why Genesis and Evolution Do Not Mix.” I will return to a number of these reasons when I tackle YEC head-on, but there is one that struck me which I wanted to just say a word about here. It is number two: “Adam did not fall upwards.” What they mean by this is that evolution says that things are getting better, life is evolving, and that the Bible says that as the curse of Genesis 3 plays out, things are only getting worse.

I have problems with both halves of this statement. In the first place, I do not think evolutionists would say things are getting “better.” Evolution is neutral; it has no moral value. Organisms  adapt to their environments, but there is no label of better or worse. It is our bias as complex, late-arriving-on-the-scene beings, that says more complex life forms are “better.”

And the second half is also a problem for me. Who says that the curse is still playing out or that things are getting worse? Certainly, the curse is still in effect, but I don’t see that we are ever told it is still “playing out” in the sense that new aspects of it are still taking effect.

This strikes me as a very pre-millenialist view (first creation debates and not end-times — I can hardly believe I am writing this!). Pre-millenialists believe that Christ will return and inaugurate a 1,000 reign of good times but that before this there will be a tribulation and lots of really bad times. Therefore, they see the current age as the build up to the tribulation and therefore part of the bad. But this is not the only view Christians can take. Personally, I tend to be amillenialist, meaning that there is no literal 1,000 reign but that we are in the millennium now; it is the church age.

But one could also be a post-millenaialist. My denomination has a history of post-millenialism. There are some ways in which this approach was taken to extremes and became quite unbiblical, but at the core I do not think it is a bad way to go. Post-millenialism says that Christ will come again at the end of the 1,000 good period and that we are working up to that by getting better. Post-millenialism is optimistic. Oftentimes we modern American Christians tend to be like grouchy old men talking about how everything used to be better,but I think we miss a lot.There are improvements in science and medicine. There are societies based on democracy and Christian values. It is easy to look around us and be critical, but I would rather live in this time than in any earlier one.

So my point here is twofold: first, they misrepresent the position of the other side, and second, they present one view of the course of the world without acknowledging that there are other Christian ways to view it or that they are coming at the issue with certain preconceived notions.

Nebby

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4 responses to this post.

  1. […] post. The one I have been promising and yet delaying. You can see the earlier posts here, here, here and here. As I hope I have shown in those posts, the two big questions Christians have to grapple […]

    Reply

  2. […] a young earth creationist [I did a long series on that too; you can see some of the posts here, here, and here]; if you are, this book is not for you). It was a bit of a challenge for her and she […]

    Reply

  3. […] creation and evolution in a number of previous posts (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here; I told you there were a lot, and technically that series of posts is not finished […]

    Reply

  4. […] Evolution, Creationism and the Direction of the World […]

    Reply

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