The Role of Divine Creation in Evangelism
Tony BeamDr. Tony Beam's Weblog
- 2004 Nov 01
God's Word begins, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." What you believe about that verse goes a long way in determining your view of the world. If we are nothing but cosmic accidents which arose from randon chemical reactions brought on when lightening struck the genetic pool, we are foolish to try to establish a system of morality. But if we were created by a powerful, loving Creator then it is logial to assume we will also be held accountable to Him. This should give us pause to consider how crucial the doctrine of Creation is to our understanding of evangelism.
In the past several years, interest in divine creation as opposed to Darwinistic evolution has been on the rise in the scientific community. Renowned physicist Michael Behe shocked the world of science with the publication of his book, Darwin's Black Box. In the book, Behe coined the phrase "irreducible complexity" to refer to the minimum level of complexity that must be present before a tightly integrated and complex system can function. His favorite illustration is a simple mouse trap. Behe says it is impossible to start with a wooden base, catch a few mice, add a spring system, catch a few more mice, etc. All five working parts of the mouse trap must be present at the same time in order for the trap to function according to its design. This flies in the face of natural selection (a linchpin of Darwinism) which is said to work on tiny, random improvements in function.
There are three main areas where evidence for design is on the rise. Those areas are biochemistry (the study of the cell), cosmology (the origin of the universe) and the structure of DNA. DNA structure screams the message of divine design because its complexity is beyond the possibility of random choice. Norman Geisler put it this way, "If you came into the kitchen and saw the alphabet cereal spilled on the table, and it spelled out your name and address, would you think the cat knocked the cereal box over?" The answer is "of course not." You would know by the complexity of the message that some intelligent creature was involved in the process.
What does all of this have to do with evangelism? It ties together with the fact that many people who have been raised in this post-modern world have no confidence in the Bible. Any well-defined apologetic of the Christian faith must begin with the idea we are not a product of a "soup to cells" process but the product of a sovereign God. We see a biblical example of this in Acts 17:16-34. Paul, given the opportunity to address the completely pagan crowd of the Areopagus on Mars Hill in Athens did not begin his message with a fully developed Christology. He began by making a connection with his audience by using the altar inscription "To An Unknown God." He then declared God to be "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands." Paul began with God as Creator, thus establishing His right to call us into account. He then presented the means of that accountability and the method of escape in the Man, Jesus Christ. In doing so, Paul gives us an excellent model for 21st century, post-modern evangelism.