You likely have thought about this yourself or had someone else say this to explain why they no longer attend church, decided to go to a “non-denominational” church or have decided to become agnostic or something along these lines.
In A.D. 30 or so and onward people didn’t have the Bible as we have it today. Most knew some truth from what they heard in synagogue or through oral traditions such as the Greeks and their monument to an “unknown God”.
Most early Christians had only the gospel message about Jesus being proclaimed as the ruler and creator of the world as well as the savior and the holy one who rightfully is also the judge over everyone. Hearing about who Jesus is and that He humbled himself as a man and died via Crucifixion only to resurrect himself as only the Creator and ruler of all creation could do painted a very vivid picture of what God came down to do. Following up by clearly explaining that the death on the cross is the atoning sacrifice for man’s sins and that his Resurrection was only the first fruit of death being conquered for all men who choose him it became a clear gospel message many believed in.
By repenting (turning away and being sorry) from sin and trusting Jesus to forgive them many became believers without having something we now call the Bible and without having a denomination. In the early church they did have the authority of apostles but even these died out. In the future and end times however we will have witnesses that God commands to preach the gospel throughout the world with authority.
In this day and age we have God’s preserved word in what we call the Bible and many different denominations. The gospel is still the same and the truth in God’s word has been miraculously preserved allowing for anyone to read the gospel message for themselves and be strengthened in their faith as they read the book we now call the Bible.
Denominations have doctrines and theological systems that can be like a lighthouse to point you in the right direction but they are often wrong some where along the way. It is important to know God’s word for yourself as you listen to those in authority at different denominations so you are not led astray.
Truth be told, if you do not adhere to a belief but instead consider yourself unbiased and open to differing opinions you are in a weird vulnerable spot because in this place you will likely decide to choose whatever arbitrary thing suits your idea of fairness.
People become a God unto themselves and choose a God and religion that fits their idolatry best.
That is why it is very important to read the Bible for yourself and although theological systems and denominations can steer you in the right direction you want to know the truth for yourself so you don’t end up being fed a bunch of stuff that just isn’t true to the Word of God.
For instance, most seminaries now teach evolution as a part of their study on Genesis. They are honest in that their reasons are not correct hermeneutical and exegesis of scripture but interpreted to fit what these teachers believe to be modern day science data.
The problem is that these Christian professors have become confused in calling scientific data what is really only the wrong interpretation of that data from a godless worldview. In reality everyone has the same data but there are various ways to interpret that data based on several presuppositions. The truth is that evolutionists start from a position of faith the same way Christians do.
Did you know evolutionary thinking is not really science but a lot of conjecture and also arbitrary when it comes to dating fossils that don’t meet presuppositional ideas about where that creature normally should fit in the geological record.
For instance, when a fossil that is supposed to be 300 million years old is found in sediment that is only 3 million years old this presents a problem. If a human skull is found in 500 million year old sediment but is normally considered to be just a few million years old this also presents a dilemma.
Rescuing devices begin to be used and these fossils are often given dates different than what the data tells them because the data interferes with their view of evolution and how things evolved from one to another gradually over hundreds of millions of years.
Christian professors teaching theology are astonishingly unaware of the arbitrary nature of evolutionary date setting to the paleontological findings discovered in the geological record. Fossils are routinely given dates that are based on conjecture instead of being based on real scientific knowledge. The dating methods used such as carbon dating and radiometric as well as a multitude of others also rely upon conjectured starting date points that simply can’t be proven.
It is simply assumed that within the sedimentary layers that a particular strata is a certain age because the sediments are dated based on counting the layers. If the layers were laid down quickly and globally via a worldwide flood burying all living creatures and destroying the earth than the geological records time table could be explained quite differently and carbon and radiometric dating techniques would give vastly different ages of things because they all rely upon the geological records conjectured age.
Consider this quote from an evangelical theology professor commenting on Genesis:
“We have to admit here that the exegetical basis of the creationists is strong…In spite of the careful biblical and scientific research that has accumulated in support of the creationists’ view, there are problems that make the theory wrong to most (including many evangelical) scientists.” – James M. Boice TH. D.
So what’s are the “problems”
He says later, “…Data from various disciplines point to a very old earth and an even older universe.” – James M. Boice Th. D.
So you see here it isn’t really a problem in the Bible but him and other professors like him that see the Bible having serious inconsistencies with what evolutionists say is scientific fact. These theology professors perceive what evolutionists are telling them as being factual information and this has influenced them to interpret Genesis differently than it had been throughout history prior to the mid 1700’s.
In reality it is factual data the evolutionists are looking at but they are interpreting this data through their preconceived worldview that the universe and everything in it created itself gradually over millions and even billions of years.
Consider this quote by Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology –
“Although our conclusions are tentative, at this point in our understanding, Scripture seems to be more easily understood to suggest (but not require) a young-earth view, while the observable facts of creation seem increasingly to favor an old-earth view.”
Notice how this theology professor is under the false assumption that the evolutionary view are “observable facts” when in reality it is simply an interpretation of the facts through a Godless worldview.
Consider these two theology professors (Gordon R. Lewis and Bruce A. Demarest, Integrative Theology vol. 2) and the quote from their book and what he has to say:
Gordon Lewis and Bruce Demarest hold to the day-age view, concluding that “ultimately, responsible geology must determine the length of the Genesis days.”
As you can see theology professors in large part are under the false delusion that evolutionary thinking on geology is an undisputed fact. If they knew that the geological record was created from the very beginning based on a naturalistic worldview without much fossil evidence they might start to consider that the fossils and data are all real and true but the interpretation has been wrong for many years.
Theology professors often admit that a proper reading of Genesis would seem to be saying that the days of Genesis are literal 24 hour days. The admission in the quote below is that the only reason theology professors interpret the creation week differently than a literal view is because of “modern scientific research”.
Gleason Archer writes in A Survey of Old Testament Introduction –
“From a superficial reading of Genesis 1, the impression would seem to be that the entire creative process took place in six twenty-four-hour days. If this was the true intent of the Hebrew author… this seems to run counter to modern scientific research, which indicates that the planet Earth was created several billion years ago…”
As you can see again theology professors have decided to interpret Genesis differently because of what they perceive to be factual scientific data but in reality they are believing the interpretation of the data to be a fact because that’s what public perception about this topic has been formulated to cause people to believe.
Again we have theology professor Bruce K. Waltke with this quote:
“The days of creation may also pose difficulties for a strict historical account. Contemporary scientists almost unanimously discount the possibility of creation in one week, and we cannot summarily discount the evidence of the earth sciences.”
See here you have a theology professor taking a shortcut in his logic by simply siding with the authorities on the matter. If you look into the creation argument regarding evolutionary conjecture regarding the age of the earth you will see that what many people believe to be hard scientific facts is in fact just presuppositional based dating methods of the geological record and from that long ages for all fossils that are found.
Now consider that geology and the sciences isn’t always the unbiased fact based field of study everyone thinks it is. The subjective nature of scientists is especially pronounced in evolutionary geological science and with global warming/climate science. Consider the quote from an evolutionary scientist below:
“Most significantly, recent work in cultural anthropology and the sociology of knowledge has shown that the conceptual framework that brings the natural world into a comprehensible form becomes especially evident when a scientist constructs a classification [of a rock formation]. Previous experience, early training, institutional loyalties, personal temperament, and theoretical outlook are all brought to bear in defining particular boundaries as ‘natural’ – James A. Secord, Controversy in Victorian Geology: The Cambrian-Silurian Dispute (Princeton Univ. Press, 1986), p. 6.
What these scientists believe in that is completely a worldview and absolutely nothing to do with facts and data are:
1. Nature or matter is all that exists
2. Everything can, and indeed must, be explained by time plus chance plus the laws of nature working on matter.
3. Processes of geological change have always been operating in the past at the same rate, frequency, and power as today.
Now here is where we get into a little bit of denominationalism within evolutionary thinking. Now that we established what the presuppositional points are that many evolutionists come to the data with to interpret the data we can talk about some of the varying disagreements evolutionists have regarding these points.
I have to ask the question, why don’t more people say that they don’t know if evolution is true because of the varying camps of disagreement within the evolutionary field of study?
While your thinking about that question consider this quote by the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen J. Gould from the article “Punctuated Equilibria: the tempo and mode of evolution reconsidered, “Paleobiology, vol. 3 (1977), p. 115.
“As an a priori bias, phyletic gradualism has precluded any fair assessment of evolutionary tempos and modes. It could not be refuted by empirical catalogues constructed in its light because it excluded contrary information as the artificial result of an imperfect fossil record…Phyletic gradualism was an a priori assertion from the start–it was never ‘seen’ in the rocks; it expressed the cultural and political biases of the 19th century liberalism.”
A priori is latin meaning “from the earlier” and is simply an argument based on an earlier belief about something without examining the evidence. This atheist Harvard professor is saying that the most common assumption about evolution called uniformatarian gradualism is not even scientific but was an assertion based on cultural and political biases of the 19th century.
This atheist professor rejected gradualism and created his own theory because he found gradualism to be completely unsupported by the data. A good example of this lack of evidence is the complete lack of transitional fossils connecting different animal families with each other. You do find transitions within an animal family such as the variety of cat and cat like creatures we have today and in the fossil record, all the variety of dogs, sea creatures in the fossil record that are similar, etc. but never an elephant like creature turning into a whale and that sort of transition where it changes completely from one family to another.
A survey was done of the National Academy of Scientists in 1998 of all its members. 50 % of these scientists responded to the survey and the data on this is very revealing about the ideology of our scientists here in America. – E. J. Larson & L. Witham. “Leading Scientists Still Reject God.” Nature Vol. 394 (23 July 1998) p. 313
50% responded and of those 72.2 % said they were overtly atheistic. 20.8 % said they were agnostic and 7 % said they believed in a personal God.
So as you can see our scientists at the leading organization of scientists in this country primarily have a very ati-God anti-Christian make up. You have to imagine that most of the Christians responded to this survey simply to show their support to other Christian colleagues in a very anti-Christian field.
These scientists actively lobby our politicians, educational institutions, and more. Politicians don’t know about science and lap up whatever they tell them.
Take a look at what transitions evolutionists actually find in the fossil record and the huge amount of assumptions that go into creating a tree to fit these fossils.
Notice that almost all of the tree is made up with no fossils at all. The fossils are the branches you see in yellow with a number beside it. Most people look at these fossil transition trees and think the model is actually factual fossil data but in reality it is a huge amount of conjecture inferred onto the presentation you might see at a museum, textbook, or movie.
Notice the tree above is all fake and completely made up based on a priori reasoning. There is no data to support this huge tree with one common ancestor. It’s showing how completely different animal families had a common ancestor but there are no transitional fossils to show this is true. That’s a lot of model and very little data.
This would be a much more honest model of the data. As you can see similar fossils are on the same independent tree and likely are an example of the variety that takes place in an animal family through speciation. By the way speciation is not evolution and is something creationists believe in. There is nothing surprising to the fact that God designed animals to have complex DNA that allow animals to change and adapt to their environment.