Whom should you trust first? God or the scientist? God or the theologian? God or the Christian academic?
Many times over the years, I’ve had conversations with Christians who won’t accept the days of creation as ordinary days and who vehemently defend millions of years of earth history and other evolutionary beliefs. Often, the person talking to me quotes various Christian academics, well-known theologians/Christian leaders, or certain church fathers—claiming that I should give up my position on a historical Genesis because these academics/famous Christians do not agree with me. My answer to them has always been, “But what does God clearly state in his Word? I judge the people you quoted against God’s Word, not the other way around.”
We need to recognize that we could have 100 PhDs from Harvard University disagreeing with me, but compared to what God knows, they would still know nearly nothing.
I have certainly been scoffed at and mocked over the years because of my position. Now, don’t get me wrong—I respect scholarship. Regardless, we need to recognize that we could have 100 PhDs from Harvard University disagreeing with me, but compared to what God knows, they would still know nearly nothing. When I teach children about dinosaurs or creation and evolution, I like to ask them these questions:
“Has any human being always been there?”
They answer, “No.”
“Has any scientist always been there?”
They answer, “No.”
“Does any human being know everything?”
They answer, “No.”
“Does any scientist know everything?”
They answer, “No.”
“Who is the only One who has always been there?”
They shout out, “God!”
“Who is the only One who knows everything?”
They shout out, “God!”
I then ask, “Who is the One we should always trust first? God or the scientist?”
They call out, “God!”
And I could add, “Whom should we always trust first—God, the scientist, the theologian, the teacher, the pastor, or the professor?” And the answer will always be “God.” In a way, that sounds rather simplistic. In fact, I’ve had people who oppose my position claim that I have too simplistic a belief, just taking Genesis chapters 1–11 as they are written. Now, when someone claims it’s “too simplistic,” I believe it’s highlighting a problem we all have to battle with that is a part of our nature: the sin nature we have because we are descendants of Adam. The problem is pride.
God’s Word has a lot to say about pride.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Proverbs 26:12)
And God’s Word tells how to gain wisdom and knowledge.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (Proverbs 1:7)The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10)
I would rather stand before the Lord and say that I’m guilty of simplistically believing what his Word states in Genesis than to trust the word of fallible humans and reinterpret God’s Word. I’m reminded about this so-called simplistic approach when I read what Jesus said about children.
Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3–4).Sadly, the more educated people become, the more many find it harder to believe God’s Word as written in Genesis.
It is so much easier for children, who have not had years of indoctrination from the world, to believe God’s Word as written. Reading Genesis, for them, is just like reading a history book (as it should be; after all, it is history, and history as God has it recorded for us!). Sadly, the more educated people become, the more many find it harder to believe God’s Word as written in Genesis. And it’s not because Genesis isn’t literal history, but I believe it’s because of pride.
And a reason for that is we all have an underlying problem. It doesn’t matter who we are: we all have sinful hearts.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
The origin of sin is found in Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve were tempted by the devil to disobey God. Now, consider two elements of the temptation that help us understand our sin nature.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say. . . ?” (Genesis 3:1)
Note, the first attack by the devil was on the Word of God to get Adam and Eve to doubt God’s Word so that doubt would lead to unbelief.
For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:5)
The second part of the temptation was really the offer to be their own god. We know Adam took the fruit and disobeyed God and brought sin and the judgment of death into the world. God’s Word states,
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. (Romans 5:12–14)
So we have that sin nature. And Genesis 3:1 and 3:5 sum up that nature: our propensity will be to doubt the Word of God, as we would rather trust the word of man. I see that over and over again with Christian leaders/academics who would rather trust man’s word (beliefs) about millions of years and evolution instead of God’s Word as it’s clearly stated in Genesis chapters 1–11.
Also, we have this propensity to be our own god. We want to decide truth for ourselves. We are proud of what we know. We think we can reason correctly by ourselves, and so we have the problem of intellectual pride and a desire for intellectual respectability.
I believe this is why there is so much compromise in the church when it comes to God’s Word in Genesis. Our hearts are such that we would rather trust man’s word than God’s Word, and so we have a problem with intellectual pride, and thus we can cave to peer pressure. We must guard against this.
None of us, however, likes to be called anti-intellectual or anti-academic. And we will be called that if we believe in six literal days of creation and a young earth and universe. But I often think about those in Hebrews 11 and the Christian martyrs of the past. They were sawn in half, thrown to lions, burned alive, lived in caves, were destitute, and suffered many atrocities. And yet, so many Christians today cave in because they are belittled by secular academics for believing the “simplistic” account of creation, fall, flood, and tower of Babel as related in Scripture. I wonder how many in the church today would have stood with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego against the king. Would you? Whomiu do you trust first, God or the scientist?
“Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:15–18)
Meet Like-Minded People While Having the Adventure of a Lifetime
If you are one of those who trust God and his Word first and would like to meet others who do as well, while having the adventure of a lifetime, I encourage you to check out our Explore Excursions events. We have three coming up:
Explore an Authentic Dinosaur Dig. Hunt for fossils in eastern Montana on an authentic dinosaur dig—it’s really a once-in-a-lifetime family adventure. You, like those on previous trips, might find dinosaur bones and teeth—including some from Edmontosaurus and Triceratops—turtle bones and shells, figs, petrified wood, and more. And, of course, you’ll also discover a biblical worldview of dinosaurs and fossils. This trip is July 22–26, 2024 (ages 12 and up).Explore the Galápagos Islands. Or how about an epic adventure to a beautiful and remote corner of God’s creation—a string of islands rising up out of the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador? Come explore the famous Galápagos Islands with Answers in Genesis and discover an amazing piece of wilderness through the lens of a biblical worldview! This trip is May 28–June 7, 2024 (ages 14 and up).Explore Arches with Dr. Danny Faulkner. In the beauty of Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, discover amazing arch formations called natural bridges. With astronomer and arch enthusiast Dr. Danny Faulkner, you’ll learn how the present geology of the earth is a testament to the historic global flood described in the Bible. Two arch trips are upcoming—September 15, 2023, and April 19, 2024 (ages 12 and up).
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.