As many of you will know, some by experience, skepticism regarding God, the Bible, and the Christian faith are on the rise. I’m posting a bit of correspondence I had with a skeptic to hopefully encourage you as you contend for the faith.
You referred to Evolution as Science and Creationism as Allegory. I believe Harvard University Biochemist George Wald got it right in this statement: “One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet we are here-as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation … When it comes to the origin of life there are only two possibilities: Creation or spontaneous generation. There is no third way. Spontaneous generation was disproved one hundred years ago, but that leads us to only one other conclusion, that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds; therefore, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance!” Darwinism is philosophy not science.
Regarding the Documentary Hypothesis i.e. the Priestly, Yahwistic tradition, Julius Wellhausen (the man who popularized the theory) was proven wrong many times over, decades ago. Here’s a quote from a thoroughly secular publication: “After more than two centuries of facing the heaviest scientific guns that could be brought to bear, the Bible has survived-and is perhaps better for the siege. Even on the critics’ own terms-historical fact-the Scriptures seem more acceptable now than they did when the rationalists began the attack” (Time, Dec 30, 1974).
Regarding the supposed two Creation stories of Genesis 1&2: there are not two Creation accounts, but rather a general account or overview in chapter 1 of Genesis of the days of creation, and a specific account in chapter 1 of the sixth day of creation focusing on the creation of man (male and female).
As for man being created in the image of God, implying that God was also created out of dust, does not at all seem to me to be the logical implication. There are two different words for created or made used in Genesis 1 and 2. When Genesis 1 says, God created man in His own image, the Hebrew word is bara which means to create from nothing, ex nihilo. The word in Genesis 2 for God forming Adam out of the dust of the ground is a different Hebrew word asa, which means to make from existing material. God created the soul and spirit of man in His own image (God is Spirit) from nothing, and his body from the dust of the earth; God Himself is not a created being, He is eternal.
The idea that a loving God would create a world filled with death, destruction, and misery is either ignorance of what the Bible says about creation or a refusal to believe it. According to the Bible, God created a world in which everything was very good. The third chapter of Genesis explains what went wrong.
Many, of course, reject that explanation, and perhaps you are among that many. But that is the biblical explanation for death and all other human woes. As I see it, this presents a double problem for the person rejecting the biblical explanation.
You have to find a better explanation, and if the explanation is naturalistic evolutionary processes, then it’s hard to understand how you could at the same time say that death and suffering were a problem. Would they not simply be the natural way things happen? And if they are just the way things happen, how could they be bad or wrong?
I’m rather amazed that a man as intelligent as you seem to be is not more informed on current scientific views. You mention the “recapitulation” theory. Didn’t you know that Ernst Haeckel was a complete fraud and was “unworthy to be counted as a peer in the company of earnest researchers” according to Stephen Jay Gould? Haeckel was tried at the university court at Jena, Germany and his forgeries were made public with the 1911 publication of Haeckel’s Frauds and Forgeries. Modern studies in molecular genetics have further demonstrated the utter absurdity of the recapitulation theory. The DNA for a fetus is not the DNA for a frog and the DNA for a frog is not the DNA for a fish. Rather, the DNA of a fetus, frog, or fish is uniquely programmed for reproduction after its own kind, the term used in Genesis 1 ten times! What Haeckel and others wrongly referred to as “gill slits” were actually the earliest stages of development for the middle ear canals, the parathyroid and thymus glands and a gland that assist in calcium balance. So much for recapitulation! Have you ever read Michael Denton’s, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis? He’s not a Christian or a creationist but he does a good job of separating fact from fiction regarding evolutionary theory.
You ask: Is the true God the wrathful God of the Old Testament, or the loving God of the New Testament?
This is a false dichotomy and one that is based on a cursory reading of Scripture.
And the LORD passed before Moses and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin …" (Exodus 34:6-7).
“Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men … you devour widows houses and for a pretense make long prayers … you clean the outside of the cup and dish and inside if full of extortion and self-indulgence … Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matthew 23).
God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, although three distinct centers of consciousness, are one God. This one God is a just and Holy God who cannot allow evil and rebellion to go unpunished, but in His love for evil and rebellious men and women has made a way both to uphold His righteousness and satisfy His justice while at the same time forgive and freely love the rebel offender. All this happens through the willing sacrifice of God the Son on the cross. All of our offences, all of our arrogance and self-will, all of our transgressions were laid on Him as Isaiah prophesied in the 53rd chapter of his prophecy.
All of these other issues are secondary. What really matters is whether or not your sins are forgiven and you are clothed in the righteousness of God through Christ. You can spend your whole life questioning this and challenging that but one thing is sure: you, like everyone else, is going to die and there’s only one person in history who claimed to have the keys of death and the grave and to know what is actually on the other side of the veil, the here and the hereafter, and that person is Jesus Christ. I hope you’ll consider that.
As far as “God did it” being simplistic and therefore, “no one needs to consider anything beyond on that …” this is a fictional scenario coming from the fertile imagination of Dawkins who refuses to let the facts of history speak for themselves.
The facts are: Kepler, Bacon, Pascal, Boyle, Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, Faraday, Pasteur, Kelvin, Maxwell, Ramsey, and many others believed God did it, and that was the impetus behind their research and discovery.