The two pillars of evolution are the ticking of the clock and chance. Theologian R.C. Sproul has said, ‘If chance exists God is finished.’ In other words, if evolution is true God might as well be dead. Unfortunately, according to evolutionary theory, God is old and decrepit and time will stop His heart if chance doesn’t. But let’s stop and take a look at both time and chance. Suppose you had all the material you needed to put an airplane together. If the process of evolution were true you could put the aforementioned material in a pile, wait a million years and because of ‘some chance happening’ a plane will construct itself. Still waiting? Waiting an eon for something to happen to this plane popping into existence, even with time and the right materials provided, is hoping for a miracle. And even with rust, something I would think would be the only thing happening to this plane pile, you need all the elements for oxidation? ‘Some chance happening’ creating the plane is like ‘some chance happening’ flying it as well.
An atheist or an agnostic may need some idol to bolster his worldview so we can possibly see his eagerness to put his trust in evolution. But why would the Christian use the very theory that undermines his worldview? My purpose in this article is not to discuss those reasons but merely to admonish and exhort fellow Christians in their doubt.
First, some Christians eager to look intellectual and protect God and other Christians from looking stupid embrace evolution. To further give evidence of Christianity’s relevancy they point to certain Biblical passages they say support modern secular scientific theories such as evolution (or self esteem, but that’s another article). Movements such as progressive creation and theistic evolution are the results. But can we find evolution in the Bible? Let’s just take a brief look at Genesis one. Some say that between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 there is a gap of millions of years. Each creation ‘day’ mentioned in Genesis one they say represents millions of years or long ages. But that is not good scholarship or theology. The Hebrew word ‘yom’ (day) is preceeded by a number which, in the consensus of most scholars, corresponds to a 24 hour day in 98% of parallel like passages. And 98% may be too low a percentage. Morning and evening are also used to further flesh out the idea that a 24 hour day is being expressed and not a long period of time. Also, we take the Sabbath for the day God rested. What does it mean if God was telling us to rest every several million years? In addition to all of this, progressive creationists want to put death before Adam sinned. Death was a consequence of sin. It was because of sin that we have death and the whole reason Jesus would reconcile His chosen people to God.
Also, can we fool with the historicity of Genesis or its clear writing to better fit a secular theory? The global Flood is an example of a much maligned passage in this vein. The alternative rendering given by progressive creationists to better fit secular theories is that it was local. If Noah’s flood was local why would Noah build a battleship of a boat whereas those he preached to simply had to move and the animals as well? What would he have said to them after the flood when they simply moved to a non-flooded region? I guess God underestimated their feet. But this is the position of progressive creationism.
Are dinosaurs a stumbling block for us as creationists? If the Bible starts from the beginning of creation then dinosaurs should be mentioned. Right? Well, not necessarily, but there are some passages that give strong indication that dinosaurs are there.
Many know of Job 40:17 mentioning Behemoth with a tail like a cedar tree. A cedar tree being, well, a tree we can make the connection that the tail is as big as a dinosaur’s and therefore we have a dinosaur mentioned in the Bible. It should be noted that Behemoth was not called a dinosaur because the term was not coined until the 19th century. (Ez. 29:3, 32:2 depending on your translation, mention dragons, along with many others) Ancient historians such as Herodotus and Josephus wrote of pterosaurs. And we have pterosaurs (flying reptiles; Is 14:29 ESV) mentioned in the Bible as well.
In Numbers 21, as a consequence of their sin, the Israelites are bitten by fiery serpents and were thus poisoned. Moses lifts up a serpent on a staff for the sinning Israelites to look on to be healed. What were those serpents? Josephus writes of venomous flying serpents for one. He recounts that the Israelites under Moses were attacked by these flying serpents but protected by the ibex bird Moses set loose. Were the Israelites attacked and bitten by venomous flying serpents? A key may be in the Hebrew word Nehushtan. (II Kings 18:4 mentions nehushtan which is a direct reference to Numbers 21:9 and what Jesus would later refer to in John 3:14.) The translators often translate the word Nehushtan as a ‘thing of brass’. John Goertzen suggests in his article ‘The Bible and Pterosaurs’ that Nehushtan is a compound word Nahash (serpent) and tan (griffin) and not the word for copper. This would be our ‘flying serpent’. Nahash seraph would be what a translator would generally look for. But the article notes that seraph was not used in the Bible from the Pentateuch until Isaiah and could have been forgotten. ‘Tan’ would then be a suitable substitute and have the same meaning. The article also points out that Jesus is likened to the ‘serpent’ Moses lifted up in the desert. If the article is correct that Nehushtan, the lifted up serpent, is actually a flying serpent this would distinguish Christ from the typical serpent and finally from the ultimate serpent, Satan. It is interesting to note what Paul writes in I Corinthians 10:9, ‘We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents.’ Here the Greek word opheon is used. Goertzen writes that this word was ‘used of both terrestrial and flying reptiles by first century Greek authors.’
(Let me veer off into some extrabiblical sources for a bit. I find it fascinating that there are ancient carvings, paintings etc of what appear to be dinosaurs. The data is extensive but I only include a few. Here are some of those photos. Angkor Wat, palestrina mosaic,anasazi apatosaurus petroglyph, Carlisle Cathedral,ica stones)
And there is the ID movement whose strategy is to leave the Bible out of the creation debate. But even if you lay the groundwork for intelligence only, leaving the Bible out, you still open the gates for wacky theories such as, ‘No, it’s not God, it’s aliens.’ Now we spend the next hundred years debunking aliens as the creators of the creatures. Ought we not to avoid the next successor to evolution, Christian? Dr. John Whitcomb has said you just make the person smarter when you insert a creator and jettison the Bible. Jesus said, ‘If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?’ (John 5:46-47; ESV).