Jesus and the Doctrine of Creation

shortsightedness

Spiritual myopia afflicting some members of the church

by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

To the faithful Christian, there is little of more importance than the proclamation and defense of the Old Jerusalem Gospel that is able to save men’s souls. Christianity did not come into the world with a whimper, but a bang. It was not in the first century, nor is it intended to be in the twentieth, something “done in a corner.” While it may be true to say regarding some religions that they flourish best in secrecy, such is not the case with Christianity. It is intended both to be presented, and to flourish, in the marketplace of ideas. In addition, it may be stated safely that while some religions eschew both open investigation and critical evaluation, Christianity welcomes both. It is a historical religion—the only one of all the major religions based upon an Individual rather than a mere ideology—which claims, and can document, an empty tomb for its Founder.

Christians, unlike adherents to many other religions, do not have an option regarding the distribution and/or dissemination of their faith. The efficacy of God’s saving grace as made possible through His Son, Jesus Christ, is a message that all accountable men and women need to hear, and one that Christians are commanded to pronounce (John 3:16; Matthew 28:18-20; cf. Ezekiel 33:7-9).

From time to time, however, Christians may be afflicted with either an attitude of indifference, or spiritual myopia (shortsightedness). Both critically impair effectiveness in spreading the Gospel. A Christian’s attitude of indifference may result from any number of factors, including such things as a person’s own spiritual weakness, a downtrodden spirit, a lack of serious Bible study, etc. Spiritual myopia, on the other hand, is often the end product of either not having an adequate understanding of the Gospel message itself, or not wishing to engage in the controversy that sometimes is necessary to propagate that message.

One such example of spiritual myopia afflicting some members of the church today centers on the biblical teaching regarding creation. Because no one is particularly fond of either controversy or playing the part of the controversialist, it is not uncommon nowadays to hear someone say, “Why get involved in controversial ‘peripheral’ issues like creation and evolution? Just teach the Gospel.” Or, one might hear it said that “since the Bible is not a textbook of science, and since it is the Rock of Ages which is important, and not the age of rocks, we should just ‘preach Christ.’ ”

Such statements are clear and compelling evidence of spiritual shortsightedness, and belie a basic misunderstanding of the seriousness of the Bible’s teachings on one of its most important topics. First, those who suggest that we not concern ourselves with “peripheral” topics such as creation and evolution, and that we instead “just preach the Gospel,” fail to realize that the Gospel includes creation and excludes evolution. Second, those who advise us to simply “emphasize saving faith, not faith in creation,” have apparently forgotten that the most magnificent chapter in all the Bible on the topic of faith (Hebrews 11) begins by stressing the importance of faith in the ex nihilo creation of all things by God (verse 3) as preliminary to any kind of meaningful faith in His promises. Third, in order to avoid the offense that may come from preaching the complete Gospel, some simply would regard creation as unimportant. God, however, considered it so important that it was the topic of His first revelation. The first chapter of Genesis is the very foundation of the rest of the biblical record. If the foundation is undermined, it will not be long until the superstructure built upon it collapses as well. Fourth, many Christians in our day and age have overlooked the impact on their own faith of not teaching what God has said about creation…

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