Finding our foundation in the details of creation, instead of Jesus, leads to war.
What is the foundation of the Christian faith? Anti-evolutionism (as we see in the Castle Metaphor) teaches us the foundation of Christianity is young earth creationism. Is this really correct?
If we are to believe the Bible, Jesus Himself in His death and resurrection is the “cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:12-19): the first stone laid, where we find our confidence, and from which all else is understood. Jesus’ work on the cross, not in creation, is the foundation of our faith and the “one sign” to the world of His authenticity (Matthew 12:39; Luke 11:29-32). In Creation Pacifism, we find our hope and confidence here.
If, instead, we are to believe anti-evolutionism, creation is the cornerstone, where we find our confidence, and from which all else (including Jesus) is understood. Creation is threatened by evolution, so we look to scientific arguments against evolution for confidence in the scientific world. We look to creation science and Intelligent Design for hope.
Some Christians doubt the foundational centrality of Jesus, looking to other things for solid ground. Ken Ham, the leader of one Christian movement, instead, explains that his personal understanding of Genesis is the foundation of everything, including Jesus and the Gospel,
If you can’t trust the Book of Genesis as literal history, then you can’t trust the rest of the Bible. After all, every single doctrine of biblical theology is founded in the history of Genesis 1-11…if Adam wasn’t created from dust, and that if he didn’t fall into sin as Genesis states, then the gospel message of the New Testament can’t be true either.1
“Creation,” to Ham means very specific details about the mechanism of creation: in six 24-hour days less than 10,000 years ago. When He says “creation,” he refers to young earth creationism. While (essentially) all Christians believe in creation, many understand the mechanism differently. Nonetheless, Ham declares that if young earth creationism is false, so is the gospel of Jesus. His understanding of creation, he argues, is the cornerstone.2 Driving home this point, he writes on his website:
…[our] emphasis is on the foundational issue: compromise of Genesis ultimately undermines the gospel itself.
By “compromise of Genesis,” he means failure to accept his interpretation of Genesis. Even if young earth creation is true, Ham is certainly wrong about Jesus. In His death and resurrection, only Jesus is the cornerstone.
Creation is not the foundation, only Jesus (through His death and resurrection) is the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:12-19). This is the Gospel that Paul clearly explains: according to Scripture, Jesus died and was buried, but then He rose from the dead and was seen by many (1 Corinthians 15:4). The Resurrection, not creation, is the only sign that Jesus offers skeptics (Matthew 12:39). It is only through Jesus’ death and resurrection that we know that God exists, is unimaginably good, and wants to be known.
Placing creation as the cornerstone and God’s sign to the world, instead of the resurrection of Jesus, Ham proposes the Castle Metaphor,
Here, we see clearly the false view of the world taught by anti-evolutionism. Let us consider this image’s false teachings one at a time.
True to his theology, “Creation” is depicted as the foundation of the Christianity castle, and “Evolution” is depicted as the foundation of the Humanism castle.3 We as Christians should know, however, Jesus should be the cornerstone.
Where is Jesus here? If not entirely absent, perhaps He is the crosses decorating castle Christianity? In this view of the world, Jesus is hidden and irrelevant to the debate, but threatened all the same. Jesus, if He is here at all, is a helpless bystander in need of our defense. This bystander Gospel, portraying Jesus as an inconsequential decoration, is absolutely nothing like the Jesus we find in Scripture. He is strong, and needs not our defense. Jesus is the center of everything, to which all tends, not an irrelevant decoration. He is the center of our witness, and His death and resurrection, not creation, is the “one sign” offered to our world as proof of His authenticity (Matthew 12:39; Luke 11:29-32).
We see “balloons of immorality” flying from castle humanism, which rests on the foundation of “Evolution.” The idea here is that evolution is the root of all sorts of evil, and this is exactly what Answers in Genesis (Ken Ham’s organization) teaches (here, here, here, here, here, and explained elsewhere too). Perhaps if we end evolution, the humanist castle will fall and the balloons will be ended. This notion might make sense, except the theory of evolution is not the reason for sin. Humans have been sinning since the Fall of Adam and Eve, well before Darwin proposed evolution. We can even use the BIble to justify sin (like racism). So ending evolution in our world would not free us from our sinfulness. As Christians, we should know, only Jesus, through the redeeming work of the Gospel, overcomes the darkness of the human heart.
We see that castle Christianity is very weak. It is cracked at its foundation by the efforts of mere mortal humanists. We hear the leaders despair in quoting Psalms 11:3, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The correct response is to the faulty foundation of creation science is to return to the solid foundation of Jesus. Remember Psalms 18:10, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.” Jesus is the solid rock on which our faith stands, that the darkness cannot overcome (John 1:5), but this hope is lost in the Castle Metaphor, where Jesus is a decoration resting on a faulty foundation.
Turning from the peace of Jesus, the Castle Metaphor calls us to war. Now, we aim our guns together at evolution. We hope the human effort of creation science will destroy evolution, and somehow point our world to God. This is the battle cry of anti-evolutionism, calling us to political, cultural, and ideological war.
In summary, anti-evolutionism teaches that Christianity is weak and vulnerable. The dedicated efforts of humanists are destroying our faith’s foundation on young earth creationism. Our only hope is unite in warfare against evolution. Everything, even Jesus and the Gospel, hinges on our effort to defend young earth creation. So let us enter into war.
In contrast, the Gospel teaches that Christianity is strong and resilient, the gates of Hell will not overcome it (Matthew 16:17-19), because it rests on the finished work of God in Jesus: His physical death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-5). Nothing in science diminishes Jesus. Nothing here darkens His light (John 1:5). Faced with the insecurity the scientific world, we find our safety in Jesus (Psalms 18:10), not any human effort to defend Jesus. So let us enter into peace.
The lines are clearly drawn. We are faced with a choice between anti-evolutionism and Jesus; between a faulty foundation in the human study of nature (creation science and Intelligent Design) and the strong cornerstone of Jesus; between an insecure faith or a confident trust in Jesus. In this choice, we must choose between peace and war. Anti-evolutionism calls us to war. Jesus, however, is peace.
Will we choose peace or war?
Responding to the Gospel’s call, Creation Pacifism is movement of Christians to choose peace in the great Creation War, because Jesus is greater than anything we find in science, no human effort can hold Him, and He needs not our defense.
- Ham, K. & Ham, S. (2008), Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World: Leaving a Lasting Legacy, New Leaf Publishing Group. ↩
- Creation Pacifism includes young earth creationists, but entirely opposes the false teaching that young earth creationism is the cornerstone of our faith. ↩
- Humanism is type of atheism that professes hope in the goodness of human nature and our ability to progress and improve ourselves. ↩