At CMI, we receive many enquiries from people who do not agree with our biblical creationist stance. J.R. from South Africa was lent a Creation magazine and took the opportunity to send in a letter to the editor. We publish J.R.’s letter along with our response in hopes that it may be a helpful example in how to engage ‘friendly skeptics’ of biblical creation.

J.R. writes:

I have recently been lent a copy of Creation magazine (38-3 July 2016), and have read it with interest. There is, however, one fundamental issue that concerns me greatly. I refer to the impression that I gained as I read the magazine, namely, that in your view the term evolutionist seems to be regarded as synonymous with the term atheist. This is most regrettable, even if it is unintentional, and is an issue which needs to be addressed by your editorial committee.

Perhaps all atheists are evolutionists, but not all evolutionists are atheists. There are many believers, including scientists, who accept the Bible as the word of God and accept evolution as the theory that best codifies current biological knowledge. They also acknowledge that, If serious problems or objections arise—and it is biologists, not theologians, who must judge the merits of these objections—it will be up to biologists themselves to modify, or even abandon, the theory. It needs to be realised that science is ultimately a self-correcting enterprise, and that incorrect deductions, false hypotheses and faulty mechanisms will be abandoned with time as new facts are found, new data uncovered and new discoveries made. For the moment, many (myself included) see evolution as the wonderful blueprint that God used to bring about (create !) the wide variety of life-forms on earth. We are creationists in every sense of the word, and see evidence of design wherever we look.

If allowance is made for the use of phenomenological language, for the use of symbolical and picturesque imagery, and for the necessity that Genesis should be intelligible and meaningful to an ancient, pre-scientific culture as well as to today’s scientifically literate society, then it is possible to harmonize the early chapters of Genesis with current scientific understanding (including an historical Adam and Eve). The scientific discovery that the earth was not at the centre of the solar system enabled a false interpretation to be corrected—a correction that is now universally accepted. This “false interpretation” arose as a result of the then current philosophical climate and the phenomenological use of language, for example, in Psalms 93:1 and 104:5, etc., which perhaps was not initially recognised.

 

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