That was the general attitude of Yale Divinity School’s Communications Director Tim Krattenmaker in his breathless USA Today commentary heralding a decline in the number of Americans who believe that the Bible’s book of Genesis is reliable and trustworthy history.
The column was referencing the recent Gallup poll showing that the number of Americans who believe in a literal 6-day creation of our world has fallen to just 38%, while those believing that their great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents were subhuman life forms has risen to 57%. That this is even news, given the fact that evolutionary naturalism has been the State Religion forced upon Americans exclusively in government schools for multiple generations, is perhaps the real story. To be frank, I’m shocked the numbers are not far more disparate given the government’s investment in indoctrinating the nation’s children to believe the evolutionary model.
What was obnoxious in his piece, though expected, was Krattenmaker’s anti-intellectual conflation of Darwinism with “science.” At one point he wrote,
These tea leaves tell us that more people are refusing the all-or-nothing choice between faith and science and opting instead for a third way: Acceptance of the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution while seeing a divine role in the process.
It’s honestly as though Krattenmaker and his ilk truly believe that those who accept the historical accuracy of Genesis don’t believe in “science.” This is the absurd and unhelpful propaganda that regularly streams from those who express faith in material origins. Apparently Krattenmaker is desperate to earn their praise by parroting their ad hominem attacks.
What Genesis believers discount is not “science,” but rather the popular and widely-embraced interpretations of geology, biology, and archaeology. In other words, they don’t deny the existence of fossils in rock layers; they reject the (somewhat silly) notion of uniformitarianism that suggests no catastrophic events have altered the geology of the Earth for the millions of years these rock layers were slowly deposited. They don’t believe the Grand Canyon isn’t real; they believe that it was created by a lot of water and a little bit of time rather than a little bit of water and a lot of time.
And though Krattenmaker would assuredly join the consensus of secular scientists who scoff at them, these Christian scientists have legitimate scientific theories and explanations – some of which are far more plausible than the fantastically miraculous assumptions upon which Darwinism rests.
But as usual whenever this topic arises in American media, intellectual honesty was absent throughout the piece. As was a sense of history. Krattenmaker went on to warn Christians:
Creationists will believe what they want to believe. But they should know the consequences. Continued fighting to promote creationism is hurting religion’s credibility in an age when science and technology are perceived as reliable sources of truth and positive contributors to society. Anecdotal and polling evidence implicate religion’s anti-science reputation in the drift away from church involvement — especially among younger adults, nearly 40% of whom have left organized religion behind.
Yes, “creationists” will believe what they want to believe, just as Krattenmaker and all of us will believe what we want to believe. And all of our beliefs have consequences, not just “creationists.” But Krattenmaker may want to turn the pages back on church history before coming to his conclusion that placing confidence in the authority and accuracy of God’s Word portends the end of Christianity in the West.
Around the turn of the 20th century, a similar push of “cultured Christians” began hammering away at the Bible’s recorded miracles. They begged the church to abandon such unscientific fantasies, claiming that things like the virgin birth, physical resurrection of Jesus, the feeding of the 5,000 and other miracles were recorded by ancient minds that had no understanding of modern science. If Christians didn’t leave those fictions behind, they would not be taken seriously in that Age of Discovery.
Fast-forward to 2017 and the churches that took that advice have died. The ones who stood on the authority of God’s Word persist. It’s funny, but in his desperate plea to abandon the accuracy of Genesis for the sake of scientific credibility, Krattenmaker actually validates the accuracy of another passage of the same Scriptures:
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3)
I suspect the numbers to continue to slide in Krattenmaker’s favor precisely because this time has clearly come in the United States. But there will always be a remnant. Because true believers will begin with the Word of God, not the spirit of the age.