As you may know, alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. It is used in the Bible to denote “beginning,” as it is in Revelation 1:8: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord….”

“Alpha” is also the name given to a Bible study program that is sweeping the world, developed by a church in England.

Highly endorsed by such Christian leaders as Billy Graham, evangelist Luis Palau, the late John Wimber (of the Vineyard church), J. I. Packer (Regent College), Loren Cunningham (YWAM), George Carey (Archbishop of Canterbury)-to name just a few-one would hope this program would teach the authority of the Word of God.

Alas, one thing the “Alpha” program does not do is get the beginning correct! As is usual in most Bible study literature in today’s secularized world, “Alpha” does not take a stand on Genesis 1-11 as being literal history. Thus, the approach to the Bible right from the beginning is effectively that one doesn’t have to take the words of Genesis as written, but can take man’s ideas concerning the age of the Earth, “big bang” and so on and reinterpret Genesis any way one wants.

Regardless of what else is taught in this program, the study’s approach to the beginning of the Bible undermines the entire authority of the Scriptures. And let’s face it: ultimately the people studying this course will not be able to defend their faith adequately-will not have answers to many of the questions the world is asking-will not be able to effectively witness-and certainly will not be able to have an effect on challenging the now-pagan culture of Western nations.

In fact, look at England, the country of origin for this program. It has little, if any, vestige of Christian thought left in public life.

Sadly, Billy Graham invited the “Alpha” leader, Nicky Gumbel, to address evangelists during a recent workshop at the Amsterdam evangelism conference attended by 10,000 evangelists from around the world. The more church leaders such as these will adopt the “Alpha” course, the more that Christians of the world will be indoctrinated against the truth of the book of beginnings-Genesis. Instead, they will learn the following (quoted from one of the books from the “Alpha” program “Searching Issues” by Nicky Gumbel):

…sincere Christians hold many different interpretations of Genesis…

Some believe in a literal six-day creation…[others] point out that the Hebrew word for “day” has many different meanings…

The word can mean a long period of time. Therefore, it is not in conflict with the prevailing scientific view of the vast age of the universe, nor is it in conflict with a gradual evolution…

Some add the suggestion that Genesis is about information fed in at intervals…

They point out that this corresponds remarkably with the theory of the Big Bang…

In light of the uncertainty and the difference of opinions among genuine Christians, I think it is unwise to be too dogmatic about the issue…

What a shame that the word “alpha”-used to describe Christ, the One who created everything-should be used for a program that will not accept the clear Word on beginnings.

While we would expect that critics of the Bible, like evolutionists, would oppose a literal Genesis, it is so sad to see it coming from inside the church.

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