Is it possible for Christians to believe in evolution?
Yes … as long as they are willing to disregard the teachings of Jesus.
Jesus recognized that men and women existed right from the beginning.
The current opinion is that the cosmos evolved about 16 billion years ago, the earth about 4.6 billion, primitive life perhaps two billion, and human life about one million years ago.
The Lord Jesus, on the other hand (who was there, having Himself created all things—note John 1:1-3), taught that men and women were made essentially at the same time as the cosmos itself, when He said that “from the beginning God . . . made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). “The beginning” obviously was a reference to Genesis 1:1, and Christ was specifically citing Genesis 1:26.
So the either/or question each Christian must answer is:
Do I believe and follow the teachings of Jesus … or am I a hypocrite?
Most everyone has been taught all through their school years that the earth, life, animals, and man have all been developing from primordial beginnings over billions of years of natural evolution. Many have tried to “baptize” this process, so to speak, by calling it “theistic” evolution or “progressive” creation saying that God may have used evolution as His process of creation.
Because of this ubiquitous indoctrination, even many evangelical Christians have felt they must conform to this evolutionary worldview, especially in relation to the so-called “deep time” that is so essential to evolutionism. One respected leader of the “Intelligent Design” movement, for example, recently wrote to me that he would prefer to believe in a “young earth,” but that science had proved that the earth was very old, so he had to go with science. Two other leaders of this I.D. movement told me personally on two separate occasions that they could not even afford to listen to my arguments for a young earth because they were afraid they would be convinced and that this would halt their opportunities to speak to college groups and others about Intelligent Design.
So I have written this brief article to show once again that the Lord Jesus Himself believes in recent creation and the young earth. Assuming that a Christian is a person who believes in the deity and inerrant authority of Christ, it would seem that this fact should be sufficient to convince him.
What I will do here, therefore, is to list three key reasons for concluding that our Lord Jesus Christ believed and taught literal recent creation of all things essentially instantaneously by the omnipotent command of God, who “spake, and it was done” (Psalm 33:9).
- The Bible nowhere allows for long ages.
One can search the Scriptures (see my book Biblical Creationism for proof) from beginning to end without finding even a hint of evolution or long ages. To Jesus, every “jot or one tittle” of Scripture was divinely inspired (Matthew 5:18) and He warned us severely against adding any other words to it (Revelation 22:18). The Bible, therefore, would certainly not leave the vital doctrine of creation open to human speculation.
- The Bible explicitly states how and when creation took place.
Although many evangelicals have long equivocated as to the meaning of the “days” of creation, this type of ad hoc handling of Scripture is never justified in the context, and Christ Himself would never have interpreted them as indefinite ages of some kind. Not only is “day” (Hebrew, yom) defined in this context the first time it is used (Genesis 1:5), but the writer conclusively restricted its interpretation to the literal meaning by numbering the days (“first day,” “second day,” etc.) and by indicating their boundaries (“evening and morning”), both of which restrictions elsewhere in the Old Testament limit the meaning to literal days. The question seems to be even more firmly settled when God wrote with His own finger that “in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the [seventh] day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:11), thereby basing our calendar’s seven-day week on this primeval creation week. Jesus referred to this divine example when He said that “The sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27) to meet our weekly need of rest from work.
- The Lord Jesus recognized that men and women existed right from the beginning.
The current opinion is that the cosmos evolved about 16 billion years ago, the earth about 4.6 billion, primitive life perhaps two billion, and human life about one million years ago. The Lord Jesus, on the other hand (who was there, having Himself created all things—note John 1:1-3), taught that men and women were made essentially at the same time as the cosmos itself, when He said that “from the beginning God . . . made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). “The beginning” obviously was a reference to Genesis 1:1, and Christ was specifically citing Genesis 1:26.
On another occasion, speaking especially of Adam’s son Abel, He referred to “the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world” (Luke 11:50-51), thereby acknowledging that Abel was the first prophet, martyred in the very first generation—not 4.6 billion years after the formation of the earth. Jesus also said that Satan, using Cain to slay Abel, “was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44).
Note also that the father of John the Baptist, prophesying when filled with the Holy Spirit, said that God’s holy prophets had been predicting a coming Savior “since the world began” (Luke 1:70). Then the apostle Peter later preached that the second coming of Christ and the ultimate removal of the great Curse on the earth had even been events that “God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). The apostle Paul wrote that evidence of God as Creator should have been “clearly seen” (by men, of course) ever since “the creation of the world.”
There can be no reasonable doubt that Jesus was what evolutionists today (both theistic and atheistic) would call a “young-earth creationist.” It would seem that this should settle the question for all true Christians, who should certainly—on the authority of Christ Himself—completely reject the notion of geologic ages.
But they don’t! For one thing, not all who consider themselves Christians really believe the Bible, especially its unpopular teachings. Unfortunately, many who think they are Bible-believing Christians have become adept at “wresting” the Scriptures (note II Peter 3:17), even the recorded words of Jesus and the apostles, to make them conform to the scientism of evolutionary speculation. As noted above, there is not the slightest suggestion of millions and billions of years anywhere in the Bible when it is taken simply to mean what it says. That is why we “young-earth creationists” have to keep on reemphasizing the pervasive Bible teaching of just thousands of years of earth and cosmic history.
But what are we supposed to do when the Bible disagrees with the majority of scientists on such matters?
We are to believe the Bible—that’s what! When the teachings of men conflict with the Word of God, it would be wise to go with God.
Furthermore, there are now thousands of scientists (fully credentialed with post-graduate degrees from accredited universities) who have become convinced believers in recent creation. No doubt we are still a minority, but it is a growing minority. There are several hundred such scientists in the Creation Research Society, not to mention those on our ICR faculty as well as those associated with numerous other creationist organizations around the world.
There is also a rapidly growing body of scientific data that not only shows the impossibility of macroevolution but also much that repudiates the so-called evidences of “billions of years.” Creationist geologists have been developing an abundance of evidence of global catastrophism instead of uniformitarianism in earth history—thus confirming the Biblical record of the great Flood as the major explanation for the fossil-bearing rocks in the earth’s crust, instead of having to invent imaginary long ages of evolution to account for them.
It is possible now even to amass a list of dozens of worldwide natural processes (e.g., accumulation of salt in the sea) which, even on uniformist assumptions, will yield ages much too brief for evolution. Thus, even without referring to the Bible at all, it is possible to make an impressive case for recent creation. One cannot determine the exact age of the earth by science, of course, and these various processes may yield various values, but all prove too small for evolutionism to be possible.
With the supposed exception of radiometric dating, that is. The decay of uranium into lead, rubidium into strontium, and a few other such processes can be made to show extremely long ages, so radioactive decay processes have been considered by evolutionists to be firm proof of the billions of years.
But Christians need to remember that such calculations, like all the others, are based on the arbitrary assumption of uniformitarianism, which not only is unprovable but contrary to the Bible. The apostle Peter calls it “willing ignorance” (note 2 Peter 3:3-6) when this assumption ignores the world-changing impact of special creation of all things in the beginning and the worldwide geologic impact of the global Deluge in the days of Noah.
Furthermore, the forthcoming publications of the ICR/CRS RATE Initiative will show strong scientific evidence that even these radioactive decay processes really provide convincing arguments that the earth is thousands of years old—not billions!
Therefore, we plead once again with our Christian theistic evolutionists, progressive creationists, gap creationists, and intelligent design minimalists to come back to the Bible for their view of the world and its history. We should most certainly believe the words of our Lord Jesus Christ on this vital subject. “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord,” He might well say, “and [believe] not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
*Dr. Henry Morris is Founder and President Emeritus of ICR.
Cite this article: Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. 2005. Did Jesus Teach Recent Creation?. Acts & Facts. 34 (6).