I have had the privilege of meeting DR Michael Jarvis on several occasions and I want to say up front that I certainly vouch for his integrity as a brother in Christ. I have great respect for him and I am certain he is as careful and diligent in his research. In answer to his letter in the recent issue I would like to briefly mention the following:
Yes, it is certainly true that creation teaching presents a stumbling block to new believers, especially in educated circles. But the fact is that none of what is said in scripture goes down well. The “violent God of the Old Testament,” Balaam’s talking donkey, Jonah’s fish, Jesus’s virgin birth and resurrection, are all highly debated issues. I personally cannot read a page of scripture without being confronted with some difficult passage. It takes a lot of God’s grace to get through any portion of scripture. I believe the world has left us brainwashed and it takes time to get ourselves cleaned up. (That applies to all of us.)
Good scientists like Dr Jarvis will not be convinced by school-level pro-seven-day creation articles, just as no real scientist would be swayed by newspaper articles to believe in evolutionary theory. Scientists need to study scientific papers such as those in the peer review magazines published by CMI (http://creation.com/ - see J0urnal of Creation), Answers in Genesis (http://www.answersingenesis.org/ - see Answers Research Journal) for in-depth scientific papers on the various issues, of which there are many.
Whatever ideology we embrace, we should be sure that it is consistent with the Bible, self-consistent and consistent with the world around us. It is no use believing two things that contradict each other. For instance, if our ideas about Genesis one contradict our ideas about Genesis two, we have a problem. It is one of the wonderful facts of our belief in Christ that we can have a systematic and consistent theology!
The Bible is primarily a book about God and His character is described in great detail: in his own words, in his actions and interactions with others. The way He created is pivotal to an understanding of the kind of person He is. The Bible clearly shows that God is perfect in moral standard and that his morality is not some abstract concept, but practically expressed in a myriad of ways, so that we can follow the example of it. The perfect moral character of God is diametrically opposed to the modus operandi of evolution and that is at the heart of why many educated scientists and ordinary folk cannot accept evolution. Dr Jarvis mentions some of the aspects of this dilemma in his book, “God by Evolution," but, to my mind, does not produce a systematic logical argument that can breach the gap.
I have yet to see a logical, complete, self-consistent and Biblical argument that explains how a good God could create by way of evolution. I believe that it cannot be done.