The Non-Seeker Friendly Truth of the Bible

(Tim Keller is senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church NYC. Daniel Mann makes some important points in this pertinent piece. Compare Tim’s seeker-friendly approach to astute, biblical commentary by Henry Morris on evangelism based on the Genesis creation account here .)

In an interview in Christianity Today (June 2008, pg. 38), Tim Keller states:

“So I want to be noncommittal [about the arguments for intelligent design]. I don’t want the people who don’t like one creation view to feel like they can’t listen to the rest of the gospel. Instead I point out that it’s a red herring to go after that before you decide whether Jesus died and rose again…And I was trying to say, ‘Because you believe in evolution, does this mean that Jesus Christ couldn’t be raised from the dead?’ If he was raised from the dead, then you have to take seriously the Scriptures and you have to work on all this. If he wasn’t raised from the dead, who cares about Genesis 1-ll?”

Although Keller is correct in being Gospel-centered and also that it’s best to reorient some people back to the core message, others are going to balk:

“Why should I take your gospel seriously? Why should I even entertain the possibility that Jesus rose from the dead? If the Bible isn’t correct about Genesis 1-11, what reason do I have to believe that it’s correct about Jesus?”

There are times when Keller should be more committed to the viability of these chapters. I had not been able to even begin to consider the possibility that the Bible was God’s Word, because I was convinced that evolution was true. This meant that the Bible was just wrong. The Darwinist, Thomas Huxley, says virtually the same thing about the Bible’s creation account:

I am fairly at a loss to comprehend how anyone, for a moment, can doubt that Christian theology must stand or fall with the historical trustworthiness of the Jewish Scriptures…If Adam may be held to be no more real a personage than Prometheus, and if the story of the Fall is merely an instructive “type,” comparable to the Promethean mythos, what value has Paul’s dialectic. (Quoted from The New Answers Book, Ken Ham, Editor, 32-34)

Huxley is correct. If Genesis is myth, then the New Testament, which is built on it, can be no less vacuous. However, for me, this forbidding barrier came down once I read a book that persuasively critiqued the theory of evolution. Consequently, I began to consider that there was a possibility that the Bible could be God’s truth.

Meanwhile, many have testified that once they were made to see the “light” of evolution through an introductory biology course, they dumped Christ. In a sense, this is reasonable. It’s hard to believe in the rest of the Bible once one becomes convinced that Genesis 1-11 is fallacious.

If Huxley’s charge stands, it’s hard to see how many will not fall, or at least venture forth deprived of their confidence in the Word.

Daniel Mann

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