Wrestle at Jabbok rather than with Jabberwocky

“The #1 reason students give for rejecting the gospel is evolution.”  So says the flyer from the Alpha Omega Institute, and so said the Rev. Christian Tiews in a presentation at the Higher Things conference in Nashville.  Tiews for half of his life was a scientist in Germany committed to the dogma of evolution.  The arguments against evolution we see all the time he had not heard till 1997.  His colleagues had no answers in response, and so his journey to find out for himself began.  This being said, I still say the statement that the number one reason students give for rejecting the gospel is evolution is Jabberwocky, and rather than wrestling with Jabberwocky wrestle at Jabbok.

Seriously?  The number one problem with the Gospel is evolution! What happened to the problem of evil, pain, suffering?  What happened to the insurmountable obstacle that the finite became capable of the infinite in the Person of Jesus?  (Oops, the Reformed have pretty much sidestepped that one by making Jesus the one God worked through omnipotently, omnisciently, omnipresently.)  What happened to a sinful, fallen, mortal such as me being able to be redeemed?

My point is there are more unbelievable things in the Gospel than a six day creation, a young earth, and a real Adam and Eve.  And there are many more unbelievable things in evolution:  Matter has always been here.  At some point a creature without a soul gave birth to a person with a soul. (Unless you are going to deny the existence of the soul and spiritual things altogether.  Consistent evolutionists do that.)  On even a more basic level, at some point something nonliving gave birth to something living.  Noted evolution apologists Richard Dawkins says that 3-4 thousand years ago, “There was no life, no biology, only physics and chemistry…” (Climbing Mount Improbable, 282).  It seems we haven’t progressed much beyond Dr. Frankenstein’s fallacy that life can come from dead things.

Richard Dawkins admits the unbelievable things in evolution.  He says the probability of a sequence of 100 amino acids spontaneously forming is 1 in 20100 (Ibid., 75).  As for life happening he says, “So the sort of lucky event we are looking for could be so wildly improbable that the chances of its happing, somewhere in the universe, could be as low as one in a billion billion billion in any one year” (Ibid., 283).  Science says an event that has a 1 in 1050 chance of happening is scientifically impossible.

It seems to me that it is not evolution per say that causes college students to reject the Gospel but the deification of science.  One of my members recently told me of someone who remarked (I can’t remember who now.) that science gives answers to relatively unimportant questions.  Science will never be able to tell you where you came from or where you’re going.  Recall this is one of our Lord’s proofs of who He was.  He knew from where He came and where He was going (John 8:14), and therefore, He alone can tell us where we come from and where we are going.

For me the problem of evil, suffering, forgiveness and my sinfulness are much bigger than the problems of dinosaurs, age of the earth, or creation out of nothing.  You will find the prophets and apostles struggling with my questions, not the reported number one reason college students fall away. When Jacob wrestles with God at the ford of the Jabbok, it was because of the problems I mentioned.  He wrestles with God over questions of redemption not creation.  I think Darwin did to.  “Charles Darwin himself never recovered from the uncomprehended death of his beloved daughter Annie.  The apparent injustice of her illness was said to have contributed to his loss of religious faith” (Ibid., 268).  Having wrestled with God at the Jabbok and unlike Jacob having “won” (see Genesis 32), Darwin went on to give the rest of us Jabberwocky to wrestle with.

About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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One Response to Wrestle at Jabbok rather than with Jabberwocky

  1. Derek Kurth says:

    I have read another of Dawkins’ books, The Blind Watchmaker. In the intro, he says it will completely destroy the beliefs of creationists, but I found his case thoroughly underwhelming.

    I appreciate your point about the problems of redemption being much more significant than the (supposed) problems of creation. I wonder if many students even make it past the more superficial problem (creation) to think about sin and redemption. Since so many accept evolution, it may be the easy road to ignoring God and one’s own sin.

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