A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)
How many of these Ivy League schools—Harvard, Yale, Princeton—were once Christian? All of them! How many are Christian today? None of them. All of them are now indoctrinating generations in an atheistic worldview. How did this happen?
A Slow Drift
I suggest that a little compromise (leaven) on God’s Word here and there, and particularly on Genesis, begins a slippery slide of unbelief.
A little leaven begins the mission drift and usually within two to three generations, the original foundation they had is all but gone.
It happens generation after generation. Sadly, most Christian institutions over time lose what their founders stood for in regard to God’s Word. A little leaven begins the mission drift, and usually within two to three generations, the original foundation they had is all but gone. There are exceptions, of course—but sadly, they are rare exceptions.
We also see this happening in church denominations of all sorts, which is one of the reasons splits occur and new denominations arise. Think about the Methodist church of the John and Charles Wesley days. But most Methodist churches today in the US are extremely liberal. And this has also happened in Baptist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian churches. Even though some groups within such denominations maintain a stand on the truth of God’s Word, most over time do not.
We see it happening in our day with Christian colleges. I suggest that institutions like Baylor, Biola, Calvin, and Wheaton, to name just a few, are well on their way to becoming the Yales and Princetons of the future. In certain areas, they are already there. And in our era that began in the late 1700s and early 1800s, the “leaven” (the effects of naturalism) has been compromise on Genesis, which has had (and is having) catastrophic consequences.
Consider Wheaton College
Let me illustrate how this “leaven” undermines the authority of God’s Word and results in doubt leading to unbelief.
Wheaton College, with the financial help of BioLogos (an organization dedicated to getting the church to accept evolution/millions of years and which receives considerable financial support from the Templeton Foundation, known for supporting various liberal causes), produced a college textbook. This textbook is called Understanding Scientific Theories of Origins: Cosmology, Geology and Biology in Christian Perspective and was written by five Wheaton College professors.
Here is one quote from the book:
Although some Christians have argued that the fall utterly disrupted some kind of original perfection of creation, there is no evidence from either the Bible or the creation, making that a foregone conclusion.
Now, why would they say that? Well, consider this quote from the book:
The age of the Earth, now understood to be 4.55 billion years (or 4.55 Ga) is really less a theory than it is a measurement.
They accept the billions of years for the age of the earth as fact. As part of those billions of years, they believe the fossil layers were laid down over millions of years—and that the fossils represent a supposed record of the evolution of life.
Once a Christian accepts that there were millions of years of death (and diseases like cancer that are found in fossil bones) before man, and thus before man sinned, then to be consistent, the fall (the entrance of sin and the judgment of death in Genesis 3) could not have produced all the death and suffering we see today.
Romans 8 makes it clear that the whole creation groans because of sin, because of the fall.
Now, Romans 8 makes it clear that the whole creation groans because of sin, because of the fall. One day there will be a restoration of all things with a new heavens and earth. But right now, we live in a fallen world. But what did the fall do? Those who take Genesis as literal history understand that the death and suffering we see today happened after Adam fell. The original world was perfect—it was “very good” as God describes in Genesis 1:31—but it’s no longer very good. Now it is a groaning world.
However, you can see the dilemma for those who believe in millions of years. For them, the world with all its death, bloodshed, disease, and suffering has gone on for millions of years. So, what did the fall do? That’s why in this Wheaton textbook, the authors claim the fall did not disrupt a world that originally had perfection!
The Bible actually describes death as an “enemy” (1 Corinthians 15:26). It’s an intrusion because of sin. And the Bible tells us that one day, “Death and Hades [will be] thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14).
The sad thing is that one of the most-asked questions by the younger generations is, “How can there be a loving God with all the death and suffering in the world?” And it’s only those who take the Genesis history as literal (and that’s certainly not these five Wheaton College professors) who can show that all this death and suffering is our fault, because of our sin in Adam. It’s not God’s fault. But really, those Christians who believe in millions of years are actually saying it’s God’s fault because he has supposedly used death and suffering over millions of years as part of bringing life forms into existence.
Also, once one unlocks the door to take man’s beliefs like millions of years and add this into Scripture (a little leaven), this begins to put people on a slippery slide of doubt leading to unbelief. As this continues to happen, an institution will lose the foundation of God’s Word and eventually be more and more secularized and become like a Yale or Princeton, etc.
That’s why I have a burden for Christians to understand that the Answers in Genesis ministry is a biblical authority ministry. We warn people about believing in millions of years because this undermines the authority of Scripture, can put people on that slippery slide of unbelief, and also attacks God’s character. I contend such compromise in our era has been a major contributing reason to why we’ve seen such catastrophic generational loss from the church.
Yes, a little leaven certainly does leaven the whole lump.
Yes, a little leaven certainly does leaven the whole lump.
I encourage you to check out the Christian colleges you support to see if they use this textbook or have any material or speakers from BioLogos. If they do, I suggest you challenge the leaders/professors of the college about the importance of standing on God’s Word beginning in Genesis, and if that brings about no success, then reconsider who you should be supporting. And beware of compromising colleges and the destruction they can have on your own children. (And if you want your children to attend a college that takes a stand on the authority of God’s Word, from the very first verse, I encourage you to bring your middle- or high-schooler to our Creation College Expo 2023 at the Ark Encounter, November 2–4; this event is free, and registered students receive free Ark Encounter admission as well.)
A “Bible-First” Approach
But how does compromise begin? Well, a major factor is when people put man’s word first before God’s Word. Consider another quote from that Wheaton College textbook. It really summarizes the reason these professors and so many other academics compromise God’s Word in Genesis with evolution/millions of years:
A Bible-first approach devalues the meaningfulness of creation revelation.
Now, at Answers in Genesis, we have a Bible-first approach. We recognize that God is infinite in knowledge and wisdom. A word for a Bible-first approach would be exegesis. We take God’s Word as written (naturally) and let it speak to us through the literature, context, etc. As God’s Word states,
In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:3)
As human beings, we really know almost nothing compared to our infinite Creator. Because the Bible is God’s Word and Genesis chapters 1–11 is the history in geology, biology, astronomy, and anthropology that God has revealed to us, we need to accept God’s Word as truth and to judge man’s word against the truth of God’s Word.
We live in the present. When we are trying to understand what happened in the past to bring the present (whether it be in regard to biology, geology, astronomy, etc.) into being, we need to understand that God has revealed the events of history, so we know what happened in the past. Knowing what happened in the past then is a key to understanding the present and interpreting the evidence of the present correctly.
That’s why as Christians we must have a Bible-first approach (exegesis). We must use God’s Word as the foundation for our worldview so we can look at the present world through the lens of Scripture.
We must use God’s Word as the foundation for our worldview so we can look at the present world through the lens of Scripture.
Now, in this Wheaton textbook, the authors don’t take a Bible-first approach, but in fact it’s a man’s-word–first approach. A word for this is eisegesis. This means taking beliefs to Scripture to interpret the words in the light of what fallible man believes. In other words, reading ideas into the text. The authors of this textbook take the fallible word of men concerning their evolutionary beliefs based on naturalism (atheism) in the history of geology, biology, and astronomy, and then reinterpret God’s Word in Genesis to fit.
That’s why these authors believe the earth is billions of years old and that it never had original perfection that is now marred by sin.
Compromise Begets Compromise
Now, let me show another consequence of what happens with this man’s-word–first approach when taking the belief in billions of years and adding that to Scripture. Once a Christian believes the fossil record was laid down over millions of years, they then usually reject the global flood of Noah’s day (usually such people claim Noah’s flood was just a local event, which is not what Scripture clearly teaches). After all, if there really was such a flood, one would expect to find billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth. But if all those billions of dead things were laid down over millions of years, then there could not have been a global flood. That’s why in the Wheaton textbook, the authors state,
Here it is enough to say that geological data to support a flood of massive proportion is lacking. Furthermore, no archaeological evidence lends support to such a flood.
Another consequence of this man’s-word–first approach is in regard to how humanity came into being. Secularists claim man evolved from apelike creatures, and thus, man is just an animal: some sort of an ape. Therefore, man could not have been created directly from dust and Eve directly from the man’s rib.
In this textbook, the authors state,
Humans are hominoid primates [apes] in the hominin tribe with cognitive abilities that exceed those of all other primates, evidenced by our ever-advancing technology, cultural innovations, and adaptability to different environments.
They blatantly state that humans are apes!
This sort of compromise has permeated the church and Christian institutions, resulting in generations doubting and eventually not believing the Scriptures to be the infallible Word of God. As doubt in God’s Word is created, this puts many on that slippery slide of unbelief.
Over the years, I’ve been asked many times why the majority of academics have a man’s-word–first approach when it comes to origins. I have come to the conclusion that the issue has to do with academic respectability, academic pride, and peer pressure. For instance, to be published in the mainline theological and scientific journals, academics who believe in six literal days of creation and young earth would in most cases be rejected for publication and certainly be scoffed at and mocked. It’s fear of man, rather than fear of God.
We should always have a Bible—God’s Word—approach, first!
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Proverbs 9:10)The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)
What About You?
Do you take a Bible-first or a man’s-word–first approach to the Scriptures?
So, what about you? Do you take a Bible-first or a man’s-word–first approach to the Scriptures? I thank the Lord for those who start with God’s Word, and I pray that those who don’t will repent of their compromise and return to the authority of God’s Word.
If you are an educator who does take a stand on the authority of God’s Word, you’ll be encouraged by fellowship with like-minded educators and professional development from a biblical worldview perspective by coming to our Answers for Educators event, July 24, at the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky (south of Cincinnati). Make your plans to attend today!
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.