Does Darwin matter?
I can’t speak for others, but he certainly has mattered in my life. I was raised in a home where National Geographic and science magazines—with splashy covers and colorful images of an evolving earth and hunting hominids—were regularly displayed and excitedly discussed around the kitchen table.
In fact, I never heard anything different from the evolutionary story until I went off to secular college. (I was sheltered, I know.)
Then I met my first creationist, a fellow student. What intrigued me was not his knowledge of science or his copy of The Genesis Flood and other creationist books on his shelf. What struck me was his belief that the first book of the Bible, Genesis, was true. I had never met anyone like that.
I remember one day sitting in his dorm room, listening to him talk, when suddenly he picked up two seashells and tossed them at me. With a big grin, he declared that one was supposedly millions of years old, while the other shell, which looked identical, was plucked from a beach recently.
Another time he picked up a copy of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and flipped to a long paragraph at the end of the book. “This is the only spot in the book,” he informed me, “where Darwin actually suggests how small changes could lead to new species.”
In my experience, it didn’t take a detailed demolition of evolution, point by point, for me to see my need for the Savior, Jesus Christ. In fact, no demolition ever occurred. All that I needed were answers to a few basic questions, just enough for me to see that the problem was not the science of the Bible, but whether I would trust the Author of the Bible.
The real wooer of souls is God’s Spirit and His Word. At my bedside that fall, convicted of my evil before God, I trusted Christ as my Savior.
Later that year, I took a class called “Problems in Evolution.” We studied difficult questions that evolutionists are struggling to resolve, including questions about how natural selection can produce radical changes over time. My classmates and teacher, all evolutionists, knew what they believed—they were just hunting for better answers.
Simply seeing the uncertainties of evolution did not draw their hearts to Christ.
I have since realized that the evil one, Satan, has erected walls in an attempt to block most people’s path to hearing the Bible. But the Holy Spirit is already at work convicting people of sin and of the truth (John 16:8–11). Our job is not the terrifying task of battering down the whole edifice of their beliefs. (Who has the expertise, anyway?) Most people aren’t scientists, either, and they don’t care about the intricacies of genetic drift, multiple alleles, nonadaptive radiation, and the like.
In my case, all I needed were a few reasonable and Bible-based answers. Like a make-shift ladder, these simple answers allowed me to quickly scramble over what earlier seemed like an impregnable wall to hearing God’s Word.
Knowing this is such a comfort to me. I have no reason to fear, as I proclaim the truth of God’s Word and the hope of the gospel.
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