Day 227: Notes from Andrew Wilson at Kerith Community Church

Today, Andrew Wilson spoke powerfully about the evidence for God and how the evolution theory doesn’t actually disprove Christianity. It’s fascinating! Here are my notes, I hope you find them as intriguing as I did:

The Darwin fish is a statement that the evolution theory has discredited Christian beliefs.

Is that true?

Obviously, if Darwin’s theory is wrong it doesn’t affect Christians.

The question is though, what if it was right? If it was true, does that undermine the gospel?

Here some reasons why people might believe that this theory affects Christianity with some comments:

1. It proved the earth is billions of years old. 

Thats not because of Darwinism. They believed that the earth was old before Darwin.

2. Proved there was death before humans.

The discovery of fossils. First dinosaurs were discovered before Darwins theory. 100 years.

3. Darwinism or evolution stopped Christians from taking genesis literally.

Not true. Origen in 200AD made that assumption. Darwin didn’t cause that.

4. Evolution led to modern atheism.

70% of people say they believe in God or a supernatural being. The high noon of modern atheism was pre-Darwin (most likely the French Revolution). Atheism was there already and Darwin just gave people a way of working it out

5. Now we know how complex life developed, there is no need for God. God was an excuse for our confusion.

Dawkins says “Darwinism destroyed the illusion of design”. A physical explanation rules out a personal explanation. But does it? Take the example of love and hormones? As part of the process of falling in love, you get hormones released but you also believe in love. You don’t play the two off against each other. It’s just another way of describing the same reality.

 

Some people would think that the fact that we have some mechanism for understanding how the world was created disproves God. If you saw a beautiful garden, you’d assume there was a gardener. Isn’t this true of life?

Next question: how did we get here?

What caused the Big Bang and what caused it to form galaxies and universes etc?

Often you will find that people haven’t really thought through the answers to that question. There are only three types of answer:

1. Luck

For the universe to be possible and stars and planets, there are 15 different numbers that have to be one part in a million for it to happen. Imagine a roulette table with one million numbers. And you hit the right number! You go to the second wheel and the you hit that! You do that for 14 numbers with more than a more. The 15th is the daddy of roulette. 10 to the power of 60 numbers. Unthinkably small luck. That’s the kind of odds we’re talking about when thinking about a universe coming into life.

It’s the same as throwing an object at a target two inches across from a distance of 20 million million light years away.

2. A multiverse

A multiverse is lots of universes. Maybe there are billions and billions of universes and we are the one where life exists. Is there any evidence for it? No. Could there be? Probably not. Because if it is observable it will be in our universe. That means we have to invent universes. You can’t scientifically prove God but we generally assume design before parallel universes.

In order to get rid of evidence for ONE entity, we are actually making the leap of faith much larger by believing in multiverses.

3. A Creator

You see an iPad and you assume design. You don’t think there was a lucky explosion in Silicon Valley!

Has God revealed himself? If there was a God, is it powerful enough to communicate with the world he has made? If he existed. If God, then what? If there is a God, what do we do then? Might the resurrection of the dead be possible? Might he take the form of a human in order to save the world from sin?

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7 thoughts on “Day 227: Notes from Andrew Wilson at Kerith Community Church

  1. Interestingly, this guy chose to preach not from scripture, but from a bumper sticker. It’s sad that there will be so many who will accept his words as truth without measuring them against what the Bible says (not only about creation, but about adding or taking away from its words). An intelligent man, with a lot of information, but what he says is deceptive and heretical 😦

  2. Bold statements Ruth!

    I’ve heard Andrew speak a few times and on one occasion he taught for an entire day (5 sessions) on Genesis 1-3. I can assure you that everything I’ve heard him say is deeply rooted in scripture! As for his message today, it was based on the premise that evolution is true purely because that’s the predominant position in modern culture and as he said from the outset, if it isn’t true then there’s nothing to debate. The message was simply designed as an aid to combat the view that if you believe in evolution Christianity must be ridiculous. At no point did he express any bias towards a particular position (creationism, evolutionism, intelligent design etc.).

    I’m concerned that you feel what he says is deceptive or heretical – how did you arrive at that conclusion?

    1. I agree with Ruth Povey up to a point…and that despite his extremely interesting talk there were one or two things Andrew said yesterday at the Kerith which undermined the authority of scripture in Genesis 1…(I also had the privilege of chatting to him for 10 minutes at the end, and discovered what beliefs he has in regards to evolution).

      I was so fascinated in his talk at the 11am meeting, that I also went along to the 7pm meeting partly with the intention of asking him some questions 1-2-1 at the end. Andrew told me personally that he believes in theistic evolution. (I.e. in evolution but controlled at every point by God), and that all creatures have a common ancestry.

      I then asked Andrew this interesting question. “If humans evolved from the apes, at what point during their “gradual evolution” did they acquire a soul, and be in the “likeness of God?” Much to my relief, Andrew’s reply was that he believed Adam was created from the dust of the ground, and Eve from his side, as portrayed in Genesis.

      From his reply, it appears that Andrew believes in the theistic evolution of all non-human life, but in the instant supernatural creation of humans (i.e. Adam and Eve) by God as portrayed in Genesis.

      I am a creationist, and I believe that EVERYTHING was created by God, and that nothing evolved. The whole of creation stands in contradiction to the theory of evolution.

      Every creature was given the ability to reproduce after it’s OWN KIND as is stated TEN times in Genesis 1.

      Here’s an extract on this subject by the creationsciencemovement.com (Copied and pasted)

      The idea that God used evolution is flawed theologically, and
      also fits uneasily with the scientific evidence. Indeed, a substantial
      body of such evidence supports the biblical account of the special
      creation of the world by God in six literal days around 6,000 years
      ago, followed by a catastrophic worldwide flood 1,600 years or so
      later.

      Many believers have tried to harmonise the early chapters of
      Genesis and evolutionary philosophy. But any attempt to
      move away from the literal interpretation of these grand
      opening statements undermines the authority of Scripture.
      Hebrews 11.3 states that ‘by faith we understand that the
      universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was
      not made out of what was visible.’ Creation is thus a singular, nonrepeatable
      event that is not to be regarded as a process. No human
      being witnessed creation week, but Christ was undoubtedly the preeminent
      person of the Trinity in creation (Colossians 1.15-17), and
      we do have records of the many miracles of His subsequent
      earthly ministry. At the calming of the storm, He says,
      ‘Peace, be still’, and the storm ceases instantaneously
      (Mark 4.39). Again, in Mark 2.10-12, Christ tells a
      man sick from palsy, ‘Arise’, and immediately the
      man obeys.
      Christ speaks with authority, and a miracle
      occurs. Applying the same understanding to
      Genesis 1, it is evident that God’s creative acts do
      not involve gradual processes. Scripture teaches
      not only that by the word of God the universe came
      into being (Psalm 33.6), but also that Christ upholds
      ‘all things by the word of His power’ (Hebrews 1.3).
      Christ and the apostles often quoted from Genesis (for
      example, Matthew 19.4, Romans 5.14 and 1 Peter 3.20). They gave
      clear authority to its statements concerning a real Eden, a real
      serpent and a real Adam and Eve. In one place (1 Timothy 2.13-14)
      a whole argument rests on Eve’s being formed after Adam, with no
      pre-existing Neolithic farmers as suggested by Alexander.

      These physical events in a six-day creation are essential to biblical
      theology. Indeed, wherever the word ‘day’ is used in Genesis 1 –
      yom plus a number or the words ‘morning’ or ‘evening’ – it always
      signifies an ordinary solar day.

      Alexander rightly states, ‘The biblical creation account tells us
      timeless truths about God’s purposes for His creation in general, and
      for humankind in particular’. But true faith and salvation rest firmly
      on real physical events, unlike blind faith, which has nothing to do
      with physical reality. The Bible is not primarily a scientific textbook,
      but when it makes statements in this area it speaks accurately.

      Evolution undermines the doctrine of sin, and even the Gospel
      itself. Six times Genesis 1 states that what God had made was
      ‘good’, followed by a seventh statement affirming that all He had
      made was ‘very good’ (verse 31). To assume death and destruction
      before this is a serious theological error. Genesis 1.31 occurs after
      the six days of creation. This clearly shows that fossils, which are
      full of death and suffering, could not have existed at that point.
      Alexander’s statement that ‘God bestowed his image on a
      representative Homo sapiens’ presupposes the prior deaths of
      countless pre-hominid creatures, and undermines the clear teaching
      of Genesis 1 that Adam was made from dust by the creative act of
      God. Physical death followed Adam’s sin, as God had warned in
      Genesis 2.17. Theologically, it cannot have existed before the
      creation of Adam (see Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15). Adam’s sin
      required an equally real Christ – the last Adam – to redeem us
      through his death on the cross. If death was already in the world
      before Adam, why did Christ die?
      The scientific facts are entirely consistent with the created
      ‘kinds’ of Genesis 1, and with natural selection operating on those
      created kinds causing diversification, with consequent loss of
      information. Similarly, artificial selection (breeding) gives different
      varieties of domesticated dogs. The Pekinese has lost the
      information to breed a Great Dane, but the original wild dog pair
      that came out of the Ark had the information for all varieties.
      Natural selection reduces the information in the gene pool, so that
      it is scientifically impossible for eyes to develop by such a
      natural process if the information was not there
      already in the DNA. Information theory shows
      conclusively that genetic coded information such
      as in DNA is separate to material, and
      presupposes mind and intelligence.

      In contrast evolution by natural selection is mindless and
      cannot create.

      Catastrophic flood geology is also making
      great advances, showing that vast tracts of strata
      can be laid down in days and months. Radioactive
      dating is often invoked against creationist accounts,
      but problems such as excessive helium in the rocks
      indicate fundamental difficulties of calibration with radioactive
      methods.3 Major evidence of coal deposits all over the globe witness
      to the worldwide flood and its aftermath.
      John 1.1 states, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
      was with God, and the Word was God’. It is this Word, Christ, who
      underpins the whole created order. The written word stands equally
      authoritative to our godless generation. Behind the simple words of
      Genesis 1-3 is God Himself. We either believe Him or we don’t. It
      was the enemy of souls who subtly caused Eve to doubt with the
      question, ‘Did God really say…?’ (Genesis 3:1). Scripture is its own
      best interpreter; evolutionary philosophy is incompatible with this.
      It does not belong to a biblical Christian worldview.
      Andy McIntosh is professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion
      Theory in the Fuel and Energy Department of the University of
      Leeds and the author of Genesis for Today (Day One, 2001).
      To find out more, visit Creation Science Movement
      (www.creationsciencemovement.com) and Answers
      in Genesis (www.answersingenesis.org), as well as
      Christians in Science (www.cis.org.uk) and Perspectives on
      Theistic Evolution (www.theisticevolution.org).

      ————————————————————————————————————-

      Although I strongly disagree with Andrew’s belief in theistic evolution and that all creatures share a common ancestry, I still recognise the fact that he is an extremely gifted communicator of Christian truths, and I have ordered a copy of his latest book. “If God..then what?” which interestingly has been reviewed by an athiest organisation who said that it was “disappointingly good!”

      One Christian thinker (Louis Agassiz) has even argued that species of animals and other life are God’s individual thoughts, made incarnate so that we might perceive both his Majesty and his Message.

      Species, Agassiz wrote, are “instituted by God as the categories of His mode of thinking”. But how could a division of the organic world into discrete entitities be justified by an evolutionary theory that proclaimed ceaseless change as the fundermental fact of nature?”

      Only God knows if this last paragraph is true, but it is an interesting and intelligent observation of a possible reason why there are so many different kinds of life on planet Earth.

      Just to end this rather long blog post, I take the view that when scientific “theories” and the Bible clash head on (as they do for example with the theory of evolution) then it is ALWAYS best to take the biblical viewpoint, even if it appears on the surface to be unscientific. Almost every day, scientific and archeological discoveries are being made that confirm that the Bible is correct.

      If we stray just one millimetre away from this belief and mindset, which I believe Andrew Wilson has done on this occasion, then we are in danger of putting science and our own interpretations as more important than what the Word of God actually says.

  3. Thank you taking the time to respond Mark.

    The reality is that the beginning times are incomprehensible to us – we will probably never understand the conception of the universe until we actually make it to Heaven! Personally, I thought Andrew did a fantastic job of giving Christians a scientific argument for God and in such a way that didn’t force his personal bias on others at all. My Step-Father, who isn’t a Christian, found it immensely helpful and it was incredibly easy to invite him to a message like this (he even ordered a copy of Andrew’s book).

    Ultimately, there are strong arguments for Theistic Evolution, Intelligent Design and Creationism in my opinion. I don’t profess to have a particular preference as actually, I personally don’t believe it matters. I believe in the God of the Bible and I believe that that God created the world we live in today. I don’t much care for how.

    The non-negotiable focus in this should be Jesus. Irrespective of how the world was formed, Jesus Christ took human form and lived a sinless life, lifted the weight of our iniquity upon his shoulders and was crucified in order to conquer sin and restore the relationship we once had with our Father. If we believe that, differing views about how God did indeed create humans seem fairly inconsequential. At least to me anyway.

    I don’t believe Andrew is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and I thoroughly appreciate his message. At no point do I feel he contradicted the teachings of the Bible; only with vastly differing interpretations of it. It’s interesting that his message has such a polarizing effect though!

    1. Hi Dave,

      Thanks for your interesting response.

      You say: “Ultimately, there are strong arguments for Theistic Evolution, Intelligent Design and Creationism in my opinion”.

      There is no scientific evidence whatsover for evolution or theistic evolution. E.g the fossil record has never shown any animal, bird or fish etc. evolving into a different species. However, micro-evolution is a FACT e.g. you get little dogs and great big dogs, but they are still dogs due to their DNA. However, macro-evolution, e.g. frogs supposedly turning into dogs or cats over millions of years cannot happen now or in the past because of the law of genetics. Interestingly, the Bible in Gen 1: 24 – 25 says that animals were created according to their kind. This is exactly what the discovery of genetics and DNA has confirmed. The
      Bible was 100% correct and clearly demonstrates divine authorship.

      Galatians 1: 6 – 9 says that if we pervert the Gospel by changing it, then we will come under God’s curse.

      The Bible makes it crystal clear that animals were created according to their kind. (Genesis 1: 24 – 25)

      However, Andrew in his talk implied that animals gradually evolved. He admitted to me in person afterwards that he believed in “theistic evolution”

      This is clearly diametrically opposed to what the Bible actually says (Gen: 1: 24 – 25)……

      You might think that it is a fairly trivial point, after all as you correctly pointed out, noone was there to actually witness creation (apart from God himself and the spiritual beings).

      However, this is where it gets very dangerous. If a christian questions the Word of God in one area, perhaps putting their own interpretations on it, or using a worldly (and quite frankly satanic deception IMHO) theory of “evolution” to explain Genesis 1: 24 – 25 then what about the walls of Jericho? Jonah and the great fish? The virgin birth, and the resurrection of Christ? At what point does a Christian who believes in theistic evolution, struggle to believe in these types of miracles! Do you see where I’m coming from?

      In addition, the story of creation as revealed in the Bible is interwoven from Genesis right through to Revelation. On that basis, it means that any christian who chooses NOT to believe in special creation, is actually denying chunks of the Bible all the way through. (If I had more time I would do a study on all the verses where creation is mentioned) .

      Any Christian who believes in theistic evolution is giving their own belief a higher authority than the Word of God. All scripture is God Breathed. (2 Tim 3: 16 – 17) The Bible does NOT permit believers to “cherry pick” various parts of scripture to believe and other parts to not believe, or say “Oh science says otherwise, so we will believe in science.”

      The Bible makes it crystal clear that animals were created according to their kind. If they had evolved, then the Bible would have said so. In addition, Christ himself authenticated the Torah (First 5 books of the Old Testament) and said that they were the DIRECT word of God. (See: John 10:35, Mark 14:49, Matt 24: 37 – 39, Luke 17: 28 – 29 and ESPECIALLY Matt 19: 4 – 5 where Jesus quotes directly from the creation story in Genesis).

      Another such warning comes in the closing verses of the Bible. Revelation 22:18-19 says, “For I testify unto everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, and from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” These are very stern warnings that should get our undivided attention.

      I have Googled the phrase “Is it OK for a Christian to believe in evolution?” Below is a paraphrased passage I found, which seemed to make sense to me.

      Many devout Christians may ask, “But does it matter? Why rock the boat? The battle, creation versus evolution, was fought (and lost) by previous generations of Christians. Why bring it up now?” But it does matter, for the following reasons:

      1) If a Christian believes in evolution, in contradiction to what the Bible actually says, then what about the walls of Jericho, Jonah and the great fish, the virgin birth, and the resurrection of Christ? At what point do you say, “But that I can’t believe?”

      2) Unless the world was originally created “good” it is difficult to see how man could “fall.” From what state did he fall? If Adam was derived from some pre-existing neanderthal what is the significance of sin? If there was no historic fall, why is there need of a Saviour?

      3) Adam was told that the penalty for sin would be death, but what thrust had that if millions of animals, (including humans) had died over thousands of years? In both the Old and New Testaments sin is repeatedly coupled with death: “The wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23. Adam’s sin is specifically linked with death in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15. In the latter passage it is certain that physical death is intended.

      4) If death occurred before Adam sinned the total Gospel is negated, including our hope of the resurrection.

      5) The Judeo-Christian pattern of one day’s rest in seven follows directly on the fact that the world was created in six days and God rested on the seventh (Genesis 2:2, Exodus 20:11).

      6) Evolution (including presumably theistic evolution) purports to be a continuing process. Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species, was subtitled, The preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. Evolution provides the scientific orthodoxy for the philosophies of marxism, fascism, racism, nazism, apartheid and unbridled capitalism.

      7) Evolution lowers man from the “image of God” to the level of an animal. Why then should he not behave as one, in his own life and towards others?

      8) The longevity of Adam, Seth and others (Genesis 5) can be nothing but mythology if evolution is true. Primitive man rarely lived much beyond forty years.

      9) Conclusion
      A Christian has the following options:
      1. To assume that Genesis 1-9 is allegory, myth or poetry not to be taken literally. But if so, what do we do with the rest of the Bible? Why stop there?
      2. To hold on to both creation and evolution and try to reconcile the two. This state is unstable and readily leads to liberalism.
      3. To ignore the Old Testament and make an existential leap to a shallow believism.
      4. To accept that “by faith we understand that the worlds were made by the word of God” (Hebrews 11:3). Only in this, the Scriptural way, do we find release from the tensions of the conflict.

      In my first post on this thread, I mentioned that I only agreed with Ruth (Povey) up to a point. However, the more I research it, and pray about it, the more I realise that anyone who speaks publically from the platform at a church has a vitally important responsibilty to defend the word of God, at all costs, for the edification of believers and for the unbelievers present, for the Holy Spirit to bring about the conviction of sin, and their need for a Saviour.

      Last Sunday, was the first time ever, as far as I know, that a preacher has: 1) Spoken for 30+ minutes without quoting any scripture verses (See: Isaiah 55:11) and 2) Did not apparently believe various verses in the Bible which clearly speak about special creation.

      So, on the basis of these TWO reasons I agree with what Ruth (Povey) said in her first post above. In addition, as we approach the end times, it becomes even more important than ever that we don’t compromise when it comes to the word of God (even with the so-called “trivial matters”). There will come a time, I’m sure, when there will be modern day martyrs who are prepared to defend their beliefs even to the death.

      Andrew, if you are reading this blog post – your talk was one of the most interesting I have ever heard in my life 🙂 But please ponder on my reasoning above and in the other posts on this thread in response to Ruth (Poveys) original post.

  4. By believing in theistic evolution, you are disagreeing with the fact that the universe was created in 6 days as outlined in Genesis 1 and 2. Revelation 22 verses 18 and 19 warns about anybody adding to or taking away from God’s word, which is the final and absolute authority in the universe. And this will result in a serious penalty to those who twist the scriptures.

    In James 3 verse 1, it talks about not to let many become teachers knowing that they will receive a stricter judgement.

  5. Hi Mark, hi Jonathan.

    I really appreciate your input, but I’m not going to argue my opinion or fight for a cause. Frankly, whilst I understand where you are both coming from, it just doesn’t alter the fact that for me creation doesn’t change a thing about Jesus. Besides, I sense that this debate won’t make any ground as I have come to my conclusions based on lots of research (as have you). It’s great to have these discussions though! Many thanks again for commenting!

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