Kairos Forum on Genesis, Adam and Evolution
2pm-5pm, Saturday, 20 Oct 2018
Auditorium, Methodist College, KL Admission Free
According to a Barna research poll, one of the major reasons why people leave church and abandon Christianity is the perception that the findings of modern science are in conflict with the Bible. The purpose of the Kairos Forum on Genesis, Adam and Evolution is to correct this misconception. The Forum seeks to demonstrate that to the contrary, science complements rather than contradicts the Bible. Science itself leads us to profound questions that find their answers in the Bible.
Dr. Living Lee: A Theistic Approach to Geology, Evolution and Fossil Evidence.
Dr. Leong Tien Fock: Hermeneutical & Theological Approaches to Interpreting Genesis 1-3.
Dr. Ng Kam Weng: Who was Adam? Scientific Evidence and Theological Significance.
Scot McKnight’s latest book which he co-authors with Dennis Venema promises to deliver a combination “left-hook, upper cut” knockout punch to demolish the traditional doctrine which teaches Adam and Eve to be historical figures.
A new post in McKnight’s popular blog Jesus Creed, “Adam According to Jesus” offers several reasons to reject belief in Adam and Eve to be historical figures. While I disagree with Scot McKnight’s misreading of the Bible on grounds of theological hermeneutics, I admire his honesty in going public with his rejection of orthodoxy – unlike other scholars who portray themselves as ‘progressive’ evangelicals despite rejecting several central doctrines of the Bible. Perhaps, this only confirms my suspicion that many ‘progressive’ evangelicals are really closet liberals with no guts.
Why do atheistic evolutionists conclude that Christianity is false? Basically, there rely on the following argument.
The Atheistic Evolutionist Argument
1) If evolution is true, there was no first, historical Adam.
2) If there was no first, historical Adam, there was no Fall.
3) If there was no Fall, the sinful condition of humanity is not an inescapable condition.
4) If the sinful condition is not an inescapable condition, moral and religious categories like ‘sin’ and ‘salvation’ are irrelevant or unnecessary, as evolution will take whatever course it takes by chance].
5) If salvation is irrelevant or unnecessary, there is no need for a Savior.
6) The heart or fundamental claim of Christianity is that it is necessary for Jesus to come as the Savior of the human race
Conclusion: If evolution is true [i.e. there was no historical Adam], then based on (5) and (6), Christianity is false.
Much confusion arises in the debate on Evolution and Creation because the opposing sides are working with different meanings of evolution. It would be helpful to refer to the taxonomy of evolution given by Stephen Myer & Mike Keas.
1. Change over time; history of nature; any sequence of events in nature. 2. Changes in the frequencies of alleles in the gene pool of a population. 3. Limited common descent: the idea that particular groups of organisms have descended from a common ancestor. 4. The mechanisms responsible for the change required to produce limited descent with modification, chiefly natural selection acting on random variations or mutations. 5. Universal common descent: the idea that all organisms have descended from a single common ancestor. 6. “Blind watchmaker” thesis: the idea that all organisms have descended from common ancestors solely through an unguided, unintelligent, purposeless, material processes such as natural selection acting on ran- dom variations or mutations; that the mechanisms of natural selection, random variation and mutation, and perhaps other similarly naturalistic mechanisms, are completely sufficient to account for the appearance of design in living organisms.
In my view, there seems to be evidence to support Evolution (1-4). However, the evidence for general evolution/Evolution (5) remains inconclusive, if not debatable.
It is important that Christians respectfully listen to one another when they disagree on how to relate the Bible to current scientific theories. I hold the view of old earth creationism which accepts the age of the universe and the earth to be respectively, 13+ and 4.5 billion years old. I accept that fact that interpretation of the length of the Creation day and week in Genesis 1 will remain a moot point. On the other hand, I find it hard to accept the view of the so-called young earth creationist like Ken Ham (who is pretty influential among the home-schooling Christians in Malaysia) who asserts that the earth is only 6000 years ago. Holding to young earth creationism would require an outright rejection of hundreds of technical papers on geochronology published in scientific journals written by scientists from across the whole spectrum of beliefs. It cannot be denied that consensus of old age of the universe and the earth transcends individual ideology and belief. Continue reading “Relating the Bible to Science (Evolutionary Theory): Some Cautionary Notes”
The Historicity of Adam : A Biblical Defence (Collated With Scientific Articles)
Contemporary Denial of Historicity of Adam
Many critics declare that the church’s teaching of the historicity Adam has been discredited by recent advancements in science. It is purportedly impossible to reconcile the doctrine of Adam as a recent historical individual with fossils remains of ancient hominids pointing to a long process of evolution of humans who share a common ancestry with apes. Furthermore, recent studies of population genetics conclude that a historical pair (Adam and Eve) is insufficient to account for the genetic variations in DNA sequences found in the present human race.
Precis: Secular critics of Christianity typically appeal to the infamous trial of Galilee Galileo in Rome (1616) as indisputable evidence that Christianity is an intolerant and intellectually bankrupt system. The secular critics’ story is one of the inexorable retreat of Christianity into the backwaters of social progress, and of its being left behind in the advancement of the knowledge enterprise. Consequently, one would have expected the Christian religion to wither at the margins of society and eventually go the way of the gypsies. But this has not been the case. It calls to mind Mark Twain’s remark, “The report on my death was an exaggeration.” Continue reading “Galileo’s Trial on Trial: From Teleological Science to Mathematical Empirical Science”