Dear Members of the AnswersInGenesis organization,

I must admit, I am severely disappointed in some of the materials and positions posted on your website. So much of modern medicine and pharmaceutical development comes from evolutionary theory and genetic analysis. Science particularly evolutionary theory and biomedical engineering offer incredible benefits to the world at large.

Why cant the members of this site accept the idea that science and religion can mesh? I reconcile faith and science by taking the Bible as a timeless allegory where the message, not the literal meaning, is what matters. For example, the story of the garden of Eden and the Fall can be taken to mean that, while God created a world where humans have the ability and means to live their lives according to (from our perspective) the New Covenant, people made mistakes and sinned a flaw that is universal in humanity becomes the meaning of the Fall.

I felt the need to write and voice my opinions after reading your incredibly poor outlook on Darwin Sunday. These pastors and churches recognize that the relationship between you and God is more important than the idea that a book must be taken literally. Almost everyone today reads the King James Version of the Bible: this book was translated in the Middle Ages, but where do we hear that King James is a prophet? While we can say that it is a faithful translation, it is not the literal word of God.

In any case, there doesnt need to be a conflict between science and religion if one accepts the allegorical meaning of the Bible. I feel that the way you refuse to present this to your readers does a disservice to both them and the global community as a whole.

Thank you,
N.W.
USA


Dear Members of the AnswersInGenesis organization,

I must admit, I am severely disappointed

Dear N.,

I want to encourage you to be patient from the start. Do not be upset or disappointed (in this response either) but sincerely seek to understand—it is meant to help, not to harm.

in some of the materials and positions posted on your website. So much of modern medicine and pharmaceutical development comes from evolutionary theory

Such as? Dr. Tommy Mitchell disagrees here:

“As a practicing physician, I have had to examine these claims about the importance of evolutionary thought in my daily interaction with patients. I have also sought the input of many colleagues as to whether or not any evolutionary input is needed for them to adequately serve society in their capacity as physicians. Regardless of any individual’s particular religious persuasion (many of my colleagues are avowed atheists or theistic evolutionists who mock me for my young-earth creationist stance), not one example could be put forth of the need for evolution (or belief in its tenets) in order to practice modern medicine.”

and genetic analysis.

Thus, we agree that modern medicine has been helped by genetic analysis, which has been able to help uncover causes of genetic defects and diseases. For example, genetic analysis has helped us realize that HGPS (Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome) or simply “progeria” is caused by a single point mutation, where a thymine has a replaced a cytosine. This simple substitution causes children to age rapidly and die by the time they are about 13 years old.

By knowing this, we now have a potential opportunity to help correct the problem. For more on this disease, please see One Tiny Flaw, and 50 Years Lost!

Science particularly evolutionary theory

You are mistaking molecules-to-man evolution as a subset of science (even though science is repeatable and observable and molecules-to-man evolution isn’t). In fact, it is a subset of the teachings of the religion of humanism. You may not realize that evolution is a subset of a religion in the same way creation is a subset of Christianity (though both creation and evolution have been borrowed and incorporated into other religions).

It is also true that evolutionary ideas were around prior to the Humanist Manifestos but the creation view was also around prior to the completion of the Bible. In both cases, these are foundational to the rest of the belief. The Humanist Manifesto I in 1933 says in its first two tenets1:

FIRST: Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.

SECOND: Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as a result of a continuous process.

These are exactly what goo-to-you evolution teaches. The Humanist Manifesto II in 19732 is also clear about its adherence to the belief in evolution:

“… alter the course of human evolution …”

“Rather, science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces.”

Even the latest manifesto, the Humanist Manifesto III, in 20033 affirms it allegiance to evolutionary dogma:

“Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change. Humanists recognize nature as self-existing.”

Just want to thank everyone at AIG. You have a dynamic ministry and a very necessary one. Your website is AWESOME! It is easy to navigate, even for a person who is hardly computer literate. I have suggested it as a resource to several families who love to visit it with their children.

Also want to, once again, thank Carl Kerby for putting Mendota, IL on his speaking schedule and thank you for sending me the info on his presenations here via my e-mail account. He is a very fine speaker and certainly held the attention of young children as well as adults. I especially appreciated his transparency in sharing some of the background of his own life and the admonishments to fathers to spend time with their children.

We homeschooled our four sons for all grades of elementary and high school, starting about 21 years ago. AIG and God’s World News (by World Magazine) were integral parts of our curriculum. Our sons today are strong Christians and very capable of defending their faith against other world views.

I believe one of the ways we can demonstrate our appreciation to you is by using your material and by passing it on to others so that they may know the truth and be set free from the bondages of false teaching .. even within the church.

We continue to pray for each of you.

Flo Schuler
USA

All three manifestos are clear that evolution is a vital part of its belief system, and may well be the foundation for humanism. In the same way, Genesis 1–11 is directly or indirectly foundational to the rest of the doctrines in the Bible.

Both religions, Christianity and humanism have roots in events that describe the beginnings of all things, but only one real history actually exists. Christianity has an eyewitness to the origin of the universe, earth and man—and that is God, who has given us an error-free written record of the key things we need to know about those events.

When it comes to past events, you have two choices in which to place your faith: imperfect men who weren’t there or a perfect God who was and has spoken.

and biomedical engineering offer incredible benefits to the world at large.

Biomedical engineering indeed offers incredible potential benefits.

Why cant the members of this site accept the idea that science and religion can mesh?

We do. Remember, we all have the same science.

I reconcile faith and science by taking the Bible as a timeless allegory where the message, not the literal meaning, is what matters.

So you think an all-knowing God couldn’t get it right in Genesis? That He couldn’t communicate the historical facts correctly and in a way that readers could understand? What about the other Bible writers (who were inspired by God) and believed Genesis was literal history—do you think they were wrong too? What about Jesus, who is God? He took it as literal history. This becomes a major theological problem if you continue to hold to this view.

Don’t be so quick to question the Bible’s veracity. Perhaps you should consider questioning imperfect man’s ideas about the past. Why not take the secular belief system and interpret its story about the origin of things as a timeless allegory?

Since you’ve tried to reinterpret the Scriptures to mean something that they don’t say, then why not try this with evolutionary teachings? When a secular belief says

  1. “life came from non-life,” then why don’t you reinterpret it as God created plants, animals and man on Days 3, 5 and 6.
  2. “the earth is millions of years old,” then reinterpret it as really being about 6,000 years old.
  3. “man evolved from an ape-like ancestor,” then reinterpret it to really mean Adam and Eve.
  4. Etc.
For example, the story

By calling it a “story,” you have already discounted it as history. When Luke 3:23–38 records the genealogies from Christ to Adam, at what point do the men in this list stop being real people and begin to be allegories? On what Scriptures can this claim be made?

of the garden of Eden and the Fall can be taken to mean that, while God created a world where humans have the ability and means to live their lives according to (from our perspective) the New Covenant, people made mistakes and sinned a flaw that is universal in humanity becomes the meaning of the Fall.

Why can’t it mean what it says? Besides, why do you think the events that introduce sin are an allegory and yet believe that sin itself isn’t an allegory? That doesn’t make sense. On what basis do you decide which part is allegory and which part is not?

I felt the need to write and voice my opinions after reading your incredibly poor outlook on Darwin Sunday.

Opinions are not what matters—it is God’s Word. Everyone has opinions, including me, but each of us is fallible and imperfect, whereas God is not. He is perfect, so we need to swallow our pride and trust God and His Word over our opinions.

These pastors and churches recognize that the relationship between you and God is more important than the idea that a book must be taken literally.

We agree that the relationship between God and man is of utmost importance. But taking the stance that you don’t have to believe what God plainly says in Genesis could be a hindrance to a relationship with Him. For example, if your spouse asked to spend more time with you and you didn’t believe that meant “to spend more time with her,” and took it to mean something else, does this help make your relationship stronger? It should be obvious that it would cause a barrier in the relationship.

It is the same with God. Recall the many instances where the Israelites didn’t listen to what God plainly said. Did the Israelites grow closer to God or farther away? They went farther away. It is better to trust what God says and that will help you grow closer to God.

The apostle John wrote, “If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. ” (1 John 5:9). And Jesus said, “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:45-49) We cannot consistently say we believe Jesus if we don’t believe Moses in Genesis.

When we trust Genesis as actual history, we have a basis for understanding sin and death in the world. Based on this history, then we have a reason to accept Jesus Christ to save us from sin and death. If we remove this foundation in Genesis, then there is no reason to accept Jesus as our Savior from sin and death. Please see Two Histories of Death.

Almost everyone today reads the King James Version of the Bible:

Actually, only about 20% of the Bibles sold today are KJV so I doubt this statistic. The KJV is an excellent and time-honored translation, though many find it more difficult to understand than modern translations.

this book was translated in the Middle Ages,

Well, it was actually later—originally translated in 1611 and then there were several revisions since then such as the 1629, 1762 and 1769. Perhaps the most popular is the 1769 version.

but where do we hear that King James is a prophet?

Prophet? No informed Christian says this. He was an English king to whom the translation project was dedicated. That’s why his name is on the translation. King James had nothing to do with the actual work of translation—the godly translators did the work.

While we can say that it is a faithful translation, it is not the literal word of God.

I agree that any translation needs to be checked against the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic texts. Our statement of faith says:

“The 66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs. It is the supreme authority in everything it teaches.”

The original autographs are what were inerrant and it is up to the translators to make an accurate translation into English (I agree the KJV is a faithful, though not inerrant, translation into English).

In any case, there doesnt need to be a conflict between science and religion if one accepts the allegorical meaning of the Bible. I feel that the way you refuse to present this to your readers does a disservice to both them and the global community as a whole.

Thank you,

N.
USA

There doesn’t need to be any conflict between science and the Bible, if you take the Bible as the original authors intended it and as the original audiences would have understood it. We’ve made this clear in our Get Answers section.

God’s Word is sufficient to give you a big picture of history so you can properly explain the world. The only reason someone would reject the Bible’s plain reading is due to man-made beliefs that conflict with the Bible. I want to encourage you to trust the Bible first, and man’s ideas second. If man’s ideas ever conflict with God’s, then you should reevaluate man’s fallible ideas, because God doesn’t get it wrong.

Please understand that our goal isn’t to win or lose an argument but to get people to think, to help people understand their need for a Savior and to disciple them as Jesus commanded in Matthew 28. I’m sure you’ve heard the “good news” of Jesus Christ before, but I’m not sure if you understand what this means. Please read Here’s the Good News.

I want to encourage you to consider this.

Kind regards in Christ,
Bodie Hodge, AiG–USA

Help keep these daily articles coming. Support AiG.

Footnotes

  1. American Humanist Association, “Humanist Manifesto I.” http://www.americanhumanist.org/Who_We_Are/About_Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I. Back
  2. American Humanist Association, “Humanist Manifesto II.” http://www.americanhumanist.org/Who_We_Are/About_Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_II. Back
  3. American Humanist Association, “Humanist Manifesto III.” http://www.americanhumanist.org/Who_We_Are/About_Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I. Back