Creation by God: A Gospel Essential
If evolution is true, then there is no gospel of Jesus Christ.
What is the gospel? Answering this question from scripture is more difficult than modern Christians desire to contemplate. Books filled with words, seminars filled with Power Point presentations, and trash cans filled with tracts, all in one way or another seek to distill down the gospel to a few easily communicated ideas.
But meditating deeply on what the gospel is leaves one with more questions than answers. In Matthew 4:23 we read that Jesus was going about in all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people. Exactly what did Jesus proclaim?
The apostle Paul often refers to the gospel he was called to preach with terms and concepts that defy neat definitions. Certainly Jesus' message and Paul's preaching bore little resemblance to our tidy modern, tract-ready, gospel notions.
But we can agree with some certainty that whatever Jesus proclaimed and whatever the apostles preached as the good news, it would not make sense if those who heard it were simply material beings formed over time by purposeless processes of nature that never had them in mind. That is, the message of the gospel has no meaning if evolution is true; in a purposeless world of purposeless existence what would good news mean?
If evolution is true, then men and women have no more need for a savior—a messiah—than would a stuck rock have need of liberator or a falling leaf have need of a rescuer. Stuck rocks do not know or care that they are fixed in place and falling leaves have no more desire to go up than to go down. Aside from something fundamentally different about humans, the preaching of the gospel is no different than proclaiming liberation to rocks and preaching rescue to leaves.
But what if rocks, leaves, and human beings are not the product of mere matter in motion, each a result of atoms banging about recklessly from the Big Bang? And what if, further, there is something categorically different about human beings that makes them different in kind from rocks and leaves?
The Apostle Paul refers in Romans 1 to his apostleship to call people from something to something. They are called from "among the Gentiles" to obedience that comes from faith. And those who are called are called to belong to Jesus Christ. And further, this gospel reveals a righteousness from God.
Righteousness? Obedience? Faith? What meaning do any of these words have if evolution is true and there is no fundamental difference between the random products of people, rocks, and leaves?
The gospel has meaning only if, as Paul teaches in his letter to the Colossians, the from of the gospel involves taking off an "old self" and the to of the gospel means putting on a "new self". And importantly this new self is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Image of its creator? Consider that! A new self being renewed in the image of its Creator! Where have we heard language like that before?
Unless a true, historical Adam was created in God’s image, and thus all human beings are created in God's image, there is no need for the gospel. What meaning can be attached to proclaiming to created, fallen, and sinful humans the message being re-created in righteousness according to the good news of the Gospel if humans are not created, fallen, and sinful?
None. In fact, the whole of creation, including rocks and trees, hopes for liberation from the bondage to decay and to be brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
Thus, human beings have a choice in this world. Either they can remain trapped in the bondage of decay through darkened thinking about being mere evolved talking animals. Or they can participate in the glorious freedom of the children of God by embracing the gospel directed to God’s image bearers.
Choice. Evolution and meaningless decay or creation by God in his image and meaningful freedom.
Think about it.
See our new book, Without Excuse: Evidence for Creation by God. Available at Amazon.
(C) 2023 Creation Reformation