Perhaps the most contentious issue of our day is the question of human origins. Are we merely the product of “random chance and necessity” or is there a Divine mind behind all that we see? This has been an ongoing debate for more than a century.
At Fixed Point Foundation we first entered the fray in 2006 when we sponsored a symposium on Intelligent Design at Samford University. Then, in 2007, we sponsored “The God Delusion Debate”, an event heard globally. In 2008, we carried the fight to Oxford University. And in 2009, we did the same at Princeton University. In each instance, we took on the leading atheistic thinkers of our day who would have us all believe that there is no God and, as a consequence, there is no meaning in life and no absolute basis for ethics.
Lest you think that this is just a discussion for the academic community, let me assure you that it’s much more than that. I have said that it is the most contentious issue of our day because those engaging in it realize what’s at stake – winner takes all. Those who get to tell the Creation Story rule society. That is, they get to define the nature of life and how we live it. If, for example, your employer, insurance and healthcare providers, and your government view you as nothing more than a sophisticated animal, they are likely to treat you much differently than you have grown accustomed to in the America you currently live in. To date, the United States has been a nation heavily influenced by a Judeo-Christian worldview. That means that most people in our culture, be they religious or not, tend to view human life as sacred.
But that is changing.
For more than a generation American children have been taught in our public schools (if only implicitly) that the Created Order wasn’t created at all, but was instead caused by purely naturalistic processes. As a result, we are reaping the whirlwind: a creeping socialism (which is, by definition, godless) now fuels a soft euthanasia; as animals are increasingly given an elevated status, there is a corresponding decline in the value attached to people; abortion has been mainstreamed; crime rates are soaring; and genetic engineering takes on more frightening implications each year.
Unfortunately, mainline Christianity has too often been unsuccessful in stemming the rising tide of unbelief that drives the philosophy (and it is philosophy and not science) that God had nothing whatsoever to do with bringing the universe into existence. Why? Because while the debate between Christian and secular thinkers rages, Christians themselves have been deeply divided over the issues, even to the point of schism. Indeed, many Christians have made one’s view of the Creation Story in Genesis a test for the authenticity of their faith.
So what are the prevailing views on Creation among Christians? There are three: Young Earth Creationism; Old Earth Creationism; and Theistic Evolution. Typically, when these things are discussed in the Church, it looks something like this: the proponent of one position caricatures the position of the others. As a consequence, most Christians are given little opportunity to thoughtfully evaluate the various interpretations of the Genesis account of Creation. Thoughtfully is the operative word here. Critics of Christianity have had a field day in representing the Church as anti-intellectual, opposed to science, and opposed to progress because of this internal rift.
To address this, we put together a fabulous four-day event entitled “In the Beginning: A Conference on the Days of Creation.” We invited the top representatives of the three aforementioned theories concerning the Genesis Story: Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe presented the Old Earth view; Terry Mortenson of Answers in Genesis spoke on behalf of Young Earth Creationism; and Michael Behe of Lehigh University defended Theistic Evolution. Each speaker was asked to make a positive case for the biblical and scientific validity of his view before the three men sat down to challenge one another in a roundtable discussion.
But that was not all. Also joining us were Professor John Lennox of the University of Oxford; his brother, Gilbert Lennox, senior pastor of Glenabbey Church in Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Rick Burgess of the “Rick and Bubba Show.” Each made his own contribution, addressing issues of Church unity, worship, and, no doubt, a healthy dose of humor.
Decide for yourself who is right! Equip your children so that they are able to stand against the false messages of our culture. Get the DVD set here.