I'm sure you've heard that science and Christianity are not compatible, or that facts and faith don't go together. Well, I want you to stay with me today, and we're going to explore what history's greatest minds had to say about faith and science.
It might surprise you. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip's our Bible teacher for this daily discipleship program, Motivating Christians to Live Like Christians.
I'm Dave Drewy. Thanks for joining us as we continue our series, Why I Believe. In just a minute, Chip will dive head first into the creation-evolution discussion by breaking down the important terms and various beliefs we see today. But before we begin, let me encourage you to join us after this message, as Chip shares how we can take all this information and really apply it to our relationships and everyday lives.
So be sure to stick around for that. Well, with all that said, here's Chip now for today's talk, Why I Believe in Creation. A few years ago, we had a little Bible study in our home. It was called Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships. My daughter was a young professional at the time, and she invited a number of her friends.
And I'll never forget the young man who came. He was a scientist from Stanford, PhD. And he was late 20s and really bright, really smart. And he didn't have much of a social life. He'd been in school for a long time. And so after the Bible study that he was invited to, he was sort of skeptic, but just came, we had a conversation.
You know, one of those where you get into the kitchen and leaning against the counter and he said, I just want to thank you for opening your home. And the people were really warm and wow, this is a really neat relational time, but I just have to tell you, I don't have any room for God in my life because I'm a scientist. And I began to question, I said, what do you mean? Well, they're mutually exclusive.
I'm going to be a scientist. There's no room for God. And that started us on a conversation because I've heard that a lot. I've heard from a lot of people that science and religion, there's a dichotomy.
It's a false dichotomy. And what we're going to talk about in our time now is why I believe in creation. In fact, it's even bigger than that. I really want to talk about why I believe in God. And I want to share maybe some of the things I shared with that young scientist, some things that opened his eyes and caused him to question some of his presuppositions. Because at the end of the day, what we have is this amazing place we call earth. And you know, it has beauty and order and design. And scientists tell us that Jupiter is so big, it pulls all those big rocks away and the sun is here and Jupiter's there and the earth is in this orbit.
And the moon is exactly the right size so that there's a tilt of the earth and we're just far enough away from the sun where we don't get too hot, we don't get too cold. And they tell us that we're in this very special little band where life can exist. And in our day science would say that by random chance from a single cell over billions of years, evolution, that is how all that we see came into existence. On the other hand, religion would say there is a personal God who's all knowing, all powerful, who loves mankind and created this beauty as a reflection of who he is. And it's a testimony to him and he wants a personal relationship and fellowship with every person. Now we're living in a day where your worldview will determine how you do everything. There's huge implications to whether we believe we're the product of random chance or whether in fact we're a creation by the infinite and personal God. Now here's a little disclaimer. This is the most challenging message in this entire series. The volume of material is overwhelming.
I actually have done this before with two almost full hour messages. I eventually took all of that and I put it into the book, Why I Believe. So here's what I want you to know.
If you're like a sports fan, you didn't have time to watch the game, you go to ESPN and you see the highlights, right? Or you got a big business meeting and they say, hey, you need to read this business book and it's 300 pages and you get the executive summary, right? Go on to Amazon, 30 pages, you read it, you get the net net. That's what I'm going to give you because we don't have time to dig in at a level in all the different new scientific discoveries and I'm not an authority. I'm a pastor. I've done a lot of research.
What I want to do is introduce you to what the real issues are. What I want you to do is begin to think and to ponder what do you actually believe and I want to give you some resources to move and dig in deeper and then ask this question, how does this frame your worldview? What are your kids learning?
What are your grandkids learning and what information are you giving them? Because I will tell you that in the public schools, the random chance evolution story is not taught as a theory. It is taught as an absolute fact and here's what I want to say before we get going. The theory of evolution or let's just call it the theory of creation are both faith propositions. What I mean by that is this, the scientific method requires that you observe things. No one observed how the earth came into existence.
No one did repeatable tests. We have an hypothesis. What evolution does is take a theory and a hypothesis and it takes all the different factors with that presupposition by faith and it interprets them according to that. Those of us that believe in scripture look at the earth and the beauty and the order and the revelation of God and by faith, we believe God created things. What I want you to know first and foremost, it's not about facts and empirical data and science over here, brain and over here, religious people with heart. Both are faith propositions. So what's the fundamental question?
Here it is. Is it intellectually feasible to believe that the God of the Bible created the world, the universe and all living things or is atheistic evolution that's taught in our public schools the scientific fact that's empirical, logical, proven means of how life came into existence? Well, let's define our terms before we get too far along. When we use the word evolution, there's microevolution and there's macroevolution. Everyone believes microevolution is change within a species. In other words, there's lots of different kinds of dogs or bacteria can mutate. No one argues that there's modifications and small mutations.
What macroevolution teaches is there's vertical change. In other words, at some time, billions and billions of years ago, there was one single cell that miraculously somehow began to have life and that single cell went from bacteria all the way up through all the various filums until you have birds and reptiles and animals and apes and then all the way to mankind. So what we want to understand is evolution says this, creation says there's a personal infinite God who is loving and kind, who's made man in his image and he's created all that there is for his glory and for mankind's good.
Now, when you think about that, what you also need to understand is that the world has changed a lot since probably a lot of you learned this in school. Yes, the scripture says that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The scripture also says that the sun is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of creation. For in him, Jesus, all things were created, things in heaven and things on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or powers or rulers, all things were created by him and for him. The creation and evolution debate has been going on for over a hundred years and currently there's about four major positions that I want you to understand because when I grew up, there was just two. There was, you believe in God and creation or you believe in evolution.
Now, here's what you need to understand. There is macro Darwinian evolution, right? Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Bill Nye, the guys that say this is the only option. If you don't believe this, you're an anti-intellectual.
But now there's some new voices, things that I didn't know about until I did my research in the last few years. Michael Behe in the classic book, Darwin's Black Box, where he challenges the very foundation of evolution because when he looks inside at the chemical reactions in a single cell or Michael Denton, he says evolution, it's a theory in crisis. Now, I'm not saying these people are Christians. What I'm saying is there's a whole group of scientists. Some are agnostic, some have some faith, some have zero faith and what they're saying is we're looking at the evidence and macro Darwinian evolution with the new sciences simply doesn't hold up.
But there's a third group that didn't used to exist as well. These are theistic evolutionists. These are scientists that are very committed Christians who are tying together the evolutionary process with a serious approach to the Bible. You have people like Dennis Alexander, Creation and Evolution.
I love the title, Do We Have to Choose? You have Keith Miller and then probably the most famous of all is Francis Collins and he wrote the classic book, The Language of God, A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. Now, you'll know him as the one who headed the Human Genome Project and very, very interesting story. I'll tell you a little bit more about him later. But he's a guy that had a PhD and while he was doing his PhD, he got interested in this idea of genes so he went to medical school. While he's in medical school, he finishes his PhD and as a result of his time as an intern going around with patients, he had an experience that changed the course of his life.
I'll tell you about that a little bit later. The fourth is intelligent design. This is an eclectic group of some Christian, some atheist, some agnostics but they look at DNA, they look at the most recent science and they just come to one conclusion. They don't say this is necessarily God but what they say is things are too complex, the design is too magnificent to be happening by simply random chance.
There had to be a designer and this group is made up of a very eclectic group of people. I mean, this is some of the hard core atheist. For example, you have someone like Francis Crick who helped discover DNA. He was asked about DNA and he said, could this possibly happen by random chance?
His answer was, no chance whatsoever. Now, he admits that he went into science for a very special reason. It was a religious reason but his religious reason was all the things that people couldn't explain, he said get assigned to religion and my goal was to explain all of them to completely get rid of religion. Now, he has a cohort named Weinstein.
Weinstein made the same commitment. He says, my goal in science was to do simply one thing, eliminate and liberate people from religion. What you need to hear, okay, there's a lot of facts, there's a lot of science.
Here's what you need to hear. The world is not these objective empirical scientists and these religious people over here. The world is filled with people that have faith, that have presuppositions, that have wounds in their past and hurts in their past and had this information given to them or this information given to them and they've made a faith choice about what they're going to believe. And what I want you to know is those are the four general positions but the two big ones that I want to ask and answer just some fundamental questions, just a top level view is this, macro Darwinian evolution versus classic creation from the Bible.
Let's ask some basic questions and then you decide, what do you really believe? Because I grew up in a house where my dad was a science teacher. We went to sort of a cultural church. We didn't read the Bible and on the one hand, we would, you know, just talk about life and metaphysics and that we believed in God and prayed when someone went to the hospital. On the other hand, my dad is a science teacher teaching evolution and we had this dichotomy of thoughts that absolutely didn't add up and we lived as though it really didn't matter.
I have a sneaking suspicion that many of you are living the same way and your kids are getting filled with one set of a faith belief and thinking that the only people that exercise faith are religious people when in fact everyone exercises faith. The question is, in what and why? So let's jump in and look at some of the real basic questions and you'll notice that I put up a quick chart for you in terms of looking at those four positions that will allow you to see that in a snapshot.
Okay, are we ready? Scientists are now looking at facts that are changing their worldview. Biochemist Michael Denton said in his book Evolution of Theory and Crisis, listen to this, a non-Christian, evolution's intellectual foundations have steadily been eroding. Biology's new findings are bringing us very near to a formal, logical disapproval of Darwinian claims.
Denton believes Darwin's claims that all life devolved from one cell can't be supported by the evidence in fossils, embryology, taxonomy, or molecular biology. In addition, Nobel Laureate Francis Crick proposed that the problems of life randomly originating on Earth are so great that life must have arisen from another planet and been transferred here. With that, let's jump in to the basic questions of how did we get here? Who made us? What do we believe and why? So question number one, how did life begin?
Option one, evolution is taught in mainstream America. According to the Association of Biology Teachers, evolution answers this, life's beginning was unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable, a natural process. The beginning of life was random, undirected, without either plan or purpose. Option two is creation as defined by the Bible. God spoke, in the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.
And so all of us have two options. Was it a material, random chance, undirected, all the things that you see, there's some matter, and it just got here from one cell, or is there an infinite personal God who spoke it into existence? Let's analyze both premises and see which one makes the most sense. It takes faith to believe that a single cell over billions of years could produce everything that we see. And it takes faith to believe that what this book says about a personal creator brought everything into existence that we see.
My question is, what do you believe? Nehemiah would write, you alone are the Lord. You made the heavens and the highest heavens and all their starry hosts, the Earth and all that is in it, the sea and all that is in them.
You give life to everything and the multitudes of heaven worship you. The Bible is very clear that God is the creator and the author of all life. Question number two then is, why did life begin? Classic evolution's response to this is, it began as a pure accident.
It's a random chance. The Earth exists because at a certain time, in a certain way, all the right conditions over billions and billions of years, there was no plan, no meaning, no emotions, no value, it just popped into existence. Many evolutionists say that we're nothing more than a product of our chemical reactions. The feelings that you have, if we're going to be consistent here, you don't have real feelings, you don't have real emotions, you don't have real purpose, you are just the product of chemical reactions over billions of years and you have risen to the top of the food chain. If we're logically consistent and that's true, then there is no moral accountability.
In fact, there are no morals. You are just an animal. And so as we will see a little bit later, the logical conclusion of that is the survival of the fittest. Darwin would talk about the different races. He believed in polygenesis. And what that is, is that actually like black people came from one strand, white people came from another strand, Hispanics came from another strand, and then he would rank them and said that the European or the white Caucasian was a higher class, like there's various types of apes. And so when you play this out, if this is true, if that's your worldview, believe me, that's how Hitler would say, you know what, Nazism works. We are the survival of the fittest. We're going to protect the best race. It's how people actually said that slavery was okay. There were actually southern preachers in America that used some of Darwin's thinking to talk about how slavery was an okay thing before the Civil War.
Here's what I want you to get. These aren't little questions. They frame your worldview.
Everyone is operating on the basis of faith. If it's random chance, you need to understand your life has no meaning. You have no future. There is no real beginning. There is no end. There is no eternal life.
There is no right and there is no wrong. That's the logical deduction from macro Darwinian evolution. Option number two is creation. By contrast, you are a special creation of a good and all powerful God. You're the climax of his creation. You are made to be loved. You have a design.
You're unique. God has a purpose for your life. He set you on this earth. There is a heaven.
There is a future. He made you for himself. You are the absolute most beautiful, magnificent creation of all that he's made, of all the billions of stars you, in fact, as a human being, you can choose. You can feel.
You can act. You can think. You're actually made in the image of God.
You have self-awareness. The writer of Ecclesiastes would say, he has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Chip will be back in just a minute with his application. You've been listening to the first part of his message, Why I Believe in Creation. Let me ask you, how confidently can you answer questions about God and the Bible?
Are you pretty sure of yourself, or do you feel unprepared, wishing you would have paid a little more attention in Sunday school? Through this six-part series, Chip will help you better understand the bedrock concepts of the Christian faith, and how you can communicate that truth in engaging ways to others. Now, if you want to learn more, let me encourage you to check out Chip's book, Why I Believe, or the small group resources.
These are the perfect tools to help you go deeper. For complete details, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org, the Chip Ingram app, or call 888-333-6003. Our Bible teacher, Chip Ingram, is with me now. Chip, the goal of this ministry, in thought-provoking messages like the one we heard today, is to encourage Christians to be more authentic with their faith. Take a minute, if you would, and unpack why that's so important. I'd be glad to, Dave. Can you imagine what it would be like to live in a world where Christians really live like Christians?
I mean, when you meet a Christian, they would actually be a person of integrity and live the holy life, not perfect, but holy and loved and cared about people. I mean, a whole world like that. Well, let me back off. Well, how about just your community? No, not even your community. How about just everybody in your church?
No, no, no. How about just you and your family and a handful of friends, and you really followed Christ with all your heart, and even with your struggles and ups and downs, your authentic life? Can you imagine the impact in your home, your neighborhood, your work? I mean, the entire network of just you, your family, and to equip Christians to actually live like Christians. And you know, it started as something really small, and then it's grown like crazy. And you know what?
It can start really small with you, and then grow like crazy as well. So if Living on the Edge has had an impact in your life, if it's blessed you, if it's helped you, or it's helped someone else, I'm asking you, would you partner with us financially? Would you get on the team and help Christians live like Christians here and all around the world?
Thanks, Chip. Well, if partnering with Living on the Edge is an idea that makes sense to you, we'd love to have you join us. Helping Christians live like Christians will change the world we live in. To give a gift, call us at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003. Or if you prefer to give online, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org. That's LivingOnTheEdge.org. App listeners, tap donate.
We so appreciate your generosity. Well, with that, Chip, let's get to your application for this message. As we wrap things up today, let me say, not only did we not scratch the surface of this topic, we barely whiffed at it. In fact, when you really think about our teaching time together, number one, we clearly defined the debate, and I think that's so important. I mean, there's a lot more to the science and religion debate than most people think. There's classic Darwinism, and then I talked about some of the other emerging things that are happening that you as a follower of Christ need to be aware of.
And what I want you to do, rather than get fixated in some of the details and some of the tensions inside and, you know, my professor says this or my kids are learning this in the school, let's just pause for a moment and let me ask you a couple things. Are you living and believing that life really is about random chance? It was an undirected work that has no plan, no purpose, and that you are literally a result of just billions of years of random chance with no design. And if so, because that's the core of evolutionary thought, then there is no meaning. There is no purpose in life. You are just atoms that fit together at a certain point in time. And I don't mean that as harshly as it sounds, but what I find is many followers of Jesus are somehow, oh, I'm an evolutionist, or that's what I heard in school, and blindly believing that science and faith can never fit together, and yet playing a game like there's life and meaning and purpose and direction and future.
We can't have it both ways. The second thing I think is so important is that second question of, so why did life begin? I mean, what is the purpose? What is not just that you're learning in school, or what are your kids learning in school, or what are your grandkids saying to you? But what about those big issues of meaning and values?
They become absolutely arbitrary, irrelevant, and there's no basis for them unless, in fact, you are the personal work of a personal Creator God, and you're made in His image. And these passions and these desires for meaning and purpose, for love, for art, for music, to design, to build, to care, to create, all those flow out of a very personal and dynamic relationship with the Author of life. In our next time together, we are going to dig in and really just take the same approach, lovingly, openly say, classic evolution or creation? Which answers these questions about the newest scientific discoveries in genetics, in molecular biology?
Which really answers the best to the evidence of the fossil record, the social issues of life? We're going to just ask ourselves some very key questions, and I want to ask you to join me in our next broadcast as we explore those together. Just before we close, our mission at Living on the Edge is to help Christians live like Christians. And one of the best ways we can continue to do that is through programs like this one. So when you hear a message that's especially helpful, we hope you'll pass it on to others. Now, you can easily do that through the Chip Ingram app or by forwarding them the free MP3s you'll find at livingonthedge.org. And don't forget to include a note about how it made a difference in your life. Well, until next time, this is Dave Drewy. Thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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