Inspired Evidence: Only One Reality by Julie Von Vett and Bruce Malone is a book published by two individuals who promote the teaching of young-earth creationism. The back of the book indicates it is a daily devotional. The authors use this book to argue for an “either-or” approach. Either the Bible is right or science is right. It can’t be both. It even has the following phrase in bold, capital letters: “IF THE BIBLE IS WRONG ABOUT SCIENTIFIC ISSUES…WHY BELIEVE ANY OF IT?”
Now, if you know me personally, you know that I’m fine with people believing in young-earth creationism. I am not a fan of people who present the “either-or” argument. I think that’s a dangerous approach. I also don’t like when people mislead others to support their argument. I am not a scientist by training (I’m a science educator), but I understand science and understand how to find scientific explanations. When possible I will share those explanations to show why an argument is inaccurate. I plan to reflect on their book while I am doing the Bible challenge.
This post will focus on the foreword and introduction pages.
The foreword has a story about a battleship on a collision course with a lighthouse in the middle of the night. The weather is bad and visibility is terrible. The lookout notices a light in the distance and informs the captain. After some back and forth between the distant light and the captain, we learn that the light is from a lighthouse. The whole time the captain is getting more and more angry that the other light source won’t move and they will collide. The authors state that “God’s word is that lighthouse.” We then see a list of truths:
“The universe did not create itself; creation is recent; life does not come from non-life; plants and animals do not transform themselves into higher life-forms; there has been a globe-covering flood in Earth’s recent history. The Bible is crystal clear on these facts and scientific observations, and when properly interpreted, confirms each one.”
They end this section with the following statement: “There can be only one truth, and those who oppose that truth will ultimately find themselves shipwrecked upon the unchanging rock of reality.”
Reflection: My main concern with this is the either-or mentality. The idea that if you don’t follow the Biblical truth, then you are doomed. As a person of faith, I am actually offended by this argument. It helps no one and it gives those who oppose any form of religion more ammunition for their arguments.
This page continues the either-or argument. It’s pretty clear this is the mentality they will take throughout the entire book. They start this section with the following statement: “There are only two possibilities for explaining our existence.” Pretty bold statement right there. Here are the possibilities:
- Some sort of simple organism turned into a more complex organism…which turned into some sort of marine creature…that turned into some sort of land creature…that eventually turned into people…
- The vastly different groupings of creatures (including people) were created fully formed and functional – yet programmed with the information needed to vary widely within a given “kind” of creature.
It has to be one of the other. No combinations are acceptable. That’s a pretty hard line to take. Here’s what they say about people who think both are possible, sometimes referred to as theistic evolutionists:
“By promoting huge time periods, they are essentially accepting that the Bible cannot be understood in a clear, straightforward way. This compromise position eventually deteriorates into the belief that there is no evidence from the study of nature for the existence of God. Saying God used huge time periods to create life is in practice no different than accepting evolution as fact. Thus this compromise position is really just a subset of position A.”
Again, some pretty bold statements there that are troubling. First, this statement completely discounts the fact that several of the mainline Christian denominations accept evolution and geologic time. Second, what message does this send to people who are raised in a more fundamentalist household and perhaps even taught to fear science? If they start to question things, could they possibly be ostracized from their family? Could they decide to turn away from a belief system all together?