Oftentimes, we as Christians feel inadequate when it comes sharing the gospel with individuals who oppose scripture, especially those from the science community. Witnessing to atheists is often quite a daunting task and a lot of us often feel ill-equipped to provide a defence of our faith. However, although they may often feel like threats to the faith, atheists, as much as any other religious group, need to hear the Good News. So, therefore how can we make Christ known, without ignoring objections raised against the Bible, especially evolutionary claims?
Know Christ and make Christ known
Not much is to be known about the Apostle Peter’s educational background, but the Bible makes it clear that he was a fisherman by profession. In Acts 15:6-11, we see Peter mightily proclaiming the Gospel of the grace of the Lord Jesus, opposing men who were teaching a different gospel, that circumcision was necessary for salvation (Acts 15:1). How could Peter so boldly preach the Gospel, without any (assuming he had none) formal education or training?
Peter could boldly preach the Gospel without hesitation, not necessarily because of what he knew but because of Who he knew. Just like Peter, we as Christians have experienced a very real encounter with Jesus, and both of us know Him and have fellowship with Him. Christians are people who’ve been saved from the consequences of their sins, through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of cavalry. Recognising the mercy of God, now comes the responsibility of sharing the message of Christ to our neighbours, hoping that through hearing the Gospel, it would do a work in their hearts. Often when we do this, we discover the various worldviews people have that contradict Scripture, one being evolution.
Evolution vs Creation
In the world of academia, the matter of evolution vs creation is one which is highly debated. The title is an oversimplification. The evolution being debated is macro-evolution, the belief that everything came from nothingness, and that life evolved over the ages to produce humans. An example of this is man evolving from apelike creatures over millions of years. The Creationist view on the other hand simply espouses that God created the world and everything in it in 6 days by His word (Genesis 1).
When sharing the Gospel with those who believe in evolution, the contention comes when both camps have different starting points. Evolution removes the need for God and allows an unbeliever to systemise their denial of the existence of God. The Bible on the other hand teaches that everybody knows God exists through His creation, implying that evolutionists believe in God but are suppressing the truth they know about Him. The task at hand is to engage in apologetics, explaining to our atheist friends why we believe the Bible is true, and why any alternatives are false. However, we are given a warning in 1 Peter 3:15 to do this with gentleness and respect, not to win arguments but to win souls.
Evolution requires blind faith
Evolution is built on a rocky foundation. It is by no means scientific because science necessitates observable repeatable experimentation and no one has ever observed an ape evolve into a man or a star evolve from hydrogen. The Big Bang theory of evolution contradicts Newton’s Law of motion which states that anything that is at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. Basic understanding of such realities shows that the creation necessitates the Creator.
Despite the lack of evidence for evolution, we still often have to deal with dogmatic assertions coming from opponents. Rhetoric espoused by the likes of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have now been accepted as fact, and are believed without actually considering the validity of the claim. If somebody claims ‘It’s a proven fact that mankind evolved from apes,’ you could ask ‘Could you give me the proof of that claim?’ It’s often the case that the individual actually has no real proof, but has blind faith in authoritative assertions.
To believe that the all-powerful and all-knowing God created the world on the other hand is perfectly rational and logical. We believe in a God who orders the universe and makes it function in a consistent and law-like fashion, as God upholds all things by His power (Hebrews 1:3). We often take the uniformity of nature for granted (that the laws of the universe will be the same in the future as they have been in the past, e.g. gravity), but we would do well to realise that we don’t live in a ‘random chance’ universe because God sustains the heavens and the earth. The Big Bang (though not true anyway) wouldn’t even make sense without God!
The issue of contention isn’t evidence, as we’ve all been given the same evidence of God’s existence (Romans 1:18-21). The problem is the sinfulness of man, which would rather choose the foolishness of denying the God who they know exists to live without accountability. Because we were all at this place once in our lives, it’s important to not see these conversations as ‘winning debates’ but to share Christ. Jesus Christ died on the cross for sinners, and we must make a clear path to get this message as far as we can.