Creation and New Life in Christ
In the Soviet Union many Christian believers have been confined in psychiatric hospitals to be "cured" of their faith. This is the logical consequence of the atheist's presupposition that the supernatural God of Christianity does not exist, and that faith in Him is therefore evidence of insanity. In the free world militant atheists, being less powerful, have not yet given us martyrs like Anna Chertkova, released on December 1, 1987 after fourteen years of unrelenting psychiatric "treatment" unable to break her faith. Here we only suffer discrimination by news media and public educators, especially when defending the truth of creation in public schools and universities.
In the latter verbal attacks upon the biblical Christian faith as an illusion due to parental and church indoctrination are common. This writer remembers one professor who denied in all seriousness that Christians could reason logically. Another told her after many months of verbal dueling that he "had initially hoped you would give up your Christian illusion, as you are intelligent." Unbelievers assume that the Christian faith can only be the product of the believer's own thought based upon psychological factors ultimately determined by random evolutionist genetic and environmental coincidences. More or less rigorous "brainwashing," they think, must surely disabuse the Christian of his error. That the supernatural, personal God Himself might have entered the Christian's heart in actual reality and created him anew with a radically different new life and new nature (Romans 6:4; 2 Cor. 5:17) is inconceivable to the atheist unbeliever. As George MacDonald wrote about this new life in Christ: "He who has it not cannot believe in it: how should death believe in life, though all the birds of God are singing jubilantly over the empty tomb?" AII Christians who remember receiving this new life know that conversion is true regeneration from above, is resurrection from death to life. The Apostle's words are literally true: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (Il Cor. 5:17) We now live not from and for ourselves, but "by faith in (or of) the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself for us" (Galatians 2:20). Though still on occasion succumbing to sin, we hate it because it is so contrary to our new nature (Romans 7~. One who recently received this new life writes from Czechoslovakia:
Pastor X gave me [Richard] Wurmbrand's book Answer to Moscow's Bible [refuting evolution and atheism]. I read it through. Immediately I felt wretched
, I became very small, almost a nothing, and felt as if someone were looking at me. When I raised my eyes, I saw as in a movie my whole life with all the evil I have done. It burdened me terribly. I shed tears of regret. But I also saw a face that appeased me. It was the face of Jesus
The face of Jesus remained before me till late at night.... my wife asked me what happened. I replied, "One Christian has died—my grandfather—and another has been born.... "
When I took Communion the first time, I felt happiness, peace and contentment as never before.
His wife adds to this testimony. "It is difficult to describe what happened to us, perhaps heaven on earth. (Newsletter of Christian Missions to the Communist World, Inc., February 1988)
The reality of receiving this new life is attested by multitudes of believers of the most diverse times, backgrounds and places. Unbelievers cannot plausibly gainsay their cumulative testimony, only suppress it.
This new life in Christ presupposes biblical creation, the fall of man into sin, and redemption by Christ's death and resurrection. Atheists often understand this very well. G. Richard Bozarth, an atheist, wrote in "The Meaning of Evolution" that
Christianity is—must be—totally committed to the special creation as described in Genesis, and Christianity must fight with all its full might, fair or foul, against the theory of evolution ... It becomes clear now that the whole justification of Jesus' life and death is predicated on the existence of Adam and the forbidden fruit he and Eve ate. Without the original sin, who needs to be redeemed? Without Adam's fall into a life of constant sin terminated by death, what purpose is there to Christianity? None. (American Atheist, September 1978, p.19.)
This can be stated in another way. The purpose of our new life in Christ is our restoration in God's image and likeness. With new life in Christ we "have put on the new man, who is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him" (Colossians 3:10). If we were not created and fell but evolved upwards from lower organisms, why "put on a new man"? What would be the image of God to which we are to be restored?
Theistic evolution answers both yea and nay to the biblical account of creation and to evolution. This is its fatal weakness. It is unclear about the person, word and trustworthiness of God and hence about the new life in Christ demanded of us in Scripture. This is why churches taking no clear stand on biblical creation lose strength and meaning, and the new lives in Christ in their people are stunted, malnourished or prevented. Over and over again spokesmen for biblical creation today see people from such churches joyfully restored to full faith in all Scripture, rejoicing in their Creator, and receiving new life in Christ in fullness and fruitfulness.
Christ told us that "this is life eternal, to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (John 17:3). Belief in evolution obscures the only true God, putting uncertainty and doubt in the place of knowledge. Did God create all things out of nothing and wholly good in six days, or did He struggle or experiment with chaotic matter over vast periods of time? Did He create in the order given in Genesis 1, or let things emerge haphazardly, taking a hand only when there were insurmountable hurdles to further evolution? Would a perfect and good God make creatures only to discard them as not good but faulty, obsolete and "unfit"? In which of these two incompatible images of God—the perfect Creator, or the God of trial and error—was man originally made, and to which should he conform or be restored? If there is trial and error in God, then is perhaps man's "sin" also nothing but trial and error? If God consigned his work to destruction and death before Adam (the Bible denies this, Romans 5:12), then what is the meaning of Adam's "fall"? With the obscure God of theistic evolution new life in Christ is also obscure rather than "heaven on earth" as experienced by the Czech Christian whose testimony we heard above.
Finally, Christ spoke of "eternal" life (John 17:3). But if evolution is true, then our new life in Him cannot be truly "from above" or outside this world and must be some sort of delusion or mere psychological event. And if this is so, then not only creation and regeneration but also the Christian's expectation of the resurrection of the body and eternal life with God, promised by Jesus Christ Himself, is denied. This denial of eternal life lies at the core of evolution, for evolution can only end in an ultimate death by entropy or else repeat itself in the endless recycling of matter in its closed universe. Of these dreary and repulsive alternatives Buddha's Nirvana, Teilhard de Chardin's "Omega Point," Nietzsche's and ancient paganism's "eternal recurrence" and reincarnation are equally representative. These symbols and the evolutionist closed universe give a foretaste of hell as described in the Bible. Biblical creation, on the other hand, presupposes that the universe is not closed as it is not self-existing but the sovereign work of the personal, transcendent God. God alone guarantees that eternal, truly new life free from corruption and decay is open to regenerate man and the whole creation:
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently (Romans 8:16-25)
Creation and new life in Christ thus depend upon and confirm each other. Even atheistic unbelievers understand this, and this is why they call Christian believers insane, new life in Christ a delusion, and do all they can to suppress scientific evidences for the bankruptcy of evolution and the truth of biblical creation. They cannot help doing so, for death cannot comprehend life as darkness cannot comprehend light. We cannot help them by compromise; theistic evolution only saps our own strength and bears a false and misleading witness to an obscure and ambiguous deity. Creation and new life in Christ preach the liberating good news of eternal life in a new heaven and earth free from the bondage of sin, decay and death forever. In proclaiming biblical creation and new life in Christ we do the good will of our Father in heaven Who would not leave any man in death or the second death, hell (of which the evolutionist world view is a foretaste), but "wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" in Christ Jesus (I Timothy 2:4).