The Twisting and Turning of christian Humanism

I purposely capitalized “humanism” but made “christian” all lower case. The reason I did this is that I’m disgusted and saddened at the same time by a post on the website of Creation Ministries International. The post is about a professor at Butler University, IN, USA, named, Michael Zimmerman, who has launched a project inviting members of the clergy to endorse his pro-evolution, humanist agenda. The saddening and disgusting part of all this is that his project is succeeding.

Personally I’ve never understood the massive compromise many clergy have made in buying into the theory of evolution. I mean, you guys—yes, I’m talking to you!—could have chosen a profession that didn’t involve preaching the Truth—that way you never would have had to sell out God’s Word in the first place! This is no small issue or secondary issue after all: if Paul is wrong, in Romans 5:12, when he says that sin and death came into the world through Adam, then he could also be wrong in Romans 5:15, when he says that God’s grace abounds to many through Jesus Christ! And if people believe that Adam was a product of evolution, then they are saying there was death before Adam (meaning Paul is wrong about where death came from since many generations of evolving life forms would have died before Adam was born), and therefore that Paul, and the Bible, are unreliable. The truth of the Bible is a primary consideration for a preacher of God’s Word.

In my final Hebrew class in seminary, there were only two of us left who had survived the prior course offerings. So rather than offer a whole course for only two students, we were sent across the creek to the campus of Trinity Western University (Langley, BC, Canada) to join the advanced Hebrew course offered at the University. The teacher of that class was Dr. Craig Broyles, quite a competent Hebrew instructor… but an incompetent exegete.

When we were translating Genesis 1 in class, I offered the opinion that “yom” actually meant a literal day, and that unless there was textual evidence (which there isn’t) to support a non-literal interpretation of Genesis 1 we should take it as literal. I guess I really stuck my foot in it when I added that I saw no reason to believe the Earth is any older than 6,000 years or so. For these views, I was mocked in class with Dr. Broyles leading the laughter. His words were, as best as I can recall, “I’d like to know what a young-Earth Creationist does with lime formations!” (I offered to find out for him, but when I did, and sent him the research, he never responded. Guess he didn’t like students who stood for what they believed in?)

When I further added that we should take Genesis 1 literally with regard to “yom” because Moses, the human author, understood “yom” to mean literal 24-hour days in Exodus 20:8-11, Dr. Broyles replied with the final word, “That’s an anthropomorphism!” Hmmm. Is that a literal anthropomorphism or a mytho-poetic anthropomorphism? (Maybe he didn’t even know what exactly he meant?)

Following that semester of Hebrew I was no longer content to remain an ignorant believer in the literal truth of Genesis 1. I began reading whatever I could find on science from a biblical point of view. This led me to a great deal of reading on the websites of Creation Ministries International (formerly Answers In Genesis) and Institute for Creation Research. It turns out that my real ignorance was about the role of “presuppositions”. Some Christians (and I have no reason to doubt Dr. Broyles’ faith in Christ) approach Scripture with a prior commitment to the authority of secular Science. They then interpret Scripture through the lens of evolutionary, anti-supernaturalistic scepticism. Armed with what I have learned about observational science, I have become committed to interpreting Scripture through the lens of faith in its inerrancy and total veracity.

I think it all comes down to what Dr. Dell Tacket of the Truth Project calls, “the Box”. Do we believe that the Universe is all that there is? In other words, do we presuppose a naturalistic world-view? Or do we believe that there is no lid on “the Box”?—that God created the Universe and all that is in the Box, and that His Divine Word is both true and accurate with regard to its witness of the events of Creation and subsequent history? The former is Humanism with a “christian” twist. The latter is Christianity untwisted.