The Castle Metaphor, Jesus, and War

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,

AiG-the-problem-cannonsHere, 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.

  1. Ham, K. & Ham, S. (2008), Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World: Leaving a Lasting Legacy, New Leaf Publishing Group.
  2. Creation Pacifism includes young earth creationists, but entirely opposes the false teaching that young earth creationism is the cornerstone of our faith.
  3. Humanism is type of atheism that professes hope in the goodness of human nature and our ability to progress and improve ourselves.

2 comments on “The Castle Metaphor, Jesus, and WarAdd yours →

  1. While I deeply sympathize with the sentiment of Christians focusing on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I don’t see how this article improves the situation.

    Was it really necessary to take an obsolete version of the cartoon? Creation was replaced with “Revelation: God’s Word”. Isn’t Jesus the Word of God (john 1:1)? Is it necessary to defeat the work of Ken Ham to promote the Gospel of Christ? If the author is a Christian, and Ken Ham is a Christian, shouldn’t there be love and compassion displayed rather than condemnation?

    If God used evolution then evolution was only made possible by God. That’s born out in the science over and over as evolution cannot have happened as an unguided natural process. Yet we are told over and over again that it can and did in fact occur as an unguided natural process.

    Evolutionary theory, as it is taught in schools, is anti-creation. It may be possible for some to reconcile evolution and creation, but the vast majority of evolutionary theory, and the whole of it in secular academia, promotes a Godless existence with real consequences. Creationists haven’t defined evolutionary theory this way, evolutionists have. To be a creationist is anti-evolution by default because evolutionists have defined it that way. War has been declared against Christianity. Paul gave defense of the Gospel and instructed us to be prepared to do the same. If you propose a better way of defending the Gospel then please share.

    Pacifism in your own barracks makes perfect sense, pacifism on a battlefield makes defeat a surety. In reading this article I don’t see pacifism, I see an attack on a fellow Christian. Is it possible Ken Ham is incorrect? Sure. Isn’t it also possible that he IS correct? With God ALL things are possible.

    If the owners of this blog truly want peace in the creation battlefield, I respectfully ask that you help win it. Help to redefine evolution to include the creative power of God. Defeat the idea that evolution is a Godless undirected natural process causing all life. I work with youth and know this does undermine the Gospel and the faith of our youth. The importance of evolution is overblown in academia, science and medicine could function quite well without it. Evolution as an alternate means of creation need not create conflict in the Christian community, but it will always cause conflict in the secular world.

    I ask you simply: Who do you have more in common with, Ken Ham or Richard Dawkins? With whom are you seeking peace?

    1. Thank you for the comment. I very much appreciate it, and will be seriously considering your thoughts. A couple things deserve response right now:

      1. There are dozens of version of the cartoon available online. They all have the same basic message. This one was chosen nearly at random. The newer ones are no better. Ham’s approach is to conflate “God’s Word” with his version of creation science. I entirely agree with God’s Word, and submit my life to it. His version of creation science, however, I am unwilling to support. He is very specific about this. If we do not support his creation science, our devotion to God’s Word is in doubt. I am uncomfortable with that.

      2. I am not intending to attack Ken Ham personally. Not one character or personal attack is made here. I am explaining my very serious concerns with this theology. The Castle Metaphor is just the surface. Scratch deeper in his writings and you will see that I am not misrepresenting hi.

      3. I do not agree with Dawkins at all. He is an “evolutionist,” and thankfully most of the Church recognizes the grave danger of his position. “Anti-evolutionism,” however, is just as dangerous. This I am very concerned about because its dangers are not widely appreciated.

      4. What is my apologetic. That is really a good point. I have not articulated it very well here. I need to do that. Give me some time. That requires a more comprehensive response.

      5. For your questions about a positive case for God’s creative work in an evolutionary framework, I refer you to BioLogos. This, exactly, is their purpose, and I wonder if that could be helpful.

      6. Who am I seeking peace with? Everyone here, including Ken Ham and Richard Dawkins. The reality, however, is that peace is not likely with them, but I still seek it. If they cannot meet us here, maybe some of their followers might.

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