Calling All Creationists in the Triangle: TASC’s Mission and Future
The creation/evolution debate is a critical battle ground for the hearts and minds of everyone. What we think about our origins impacts everything we think about the world and ourselves. If human beings are merely the result of natural law working over billions of years as materialists claim, then any action we “choose” can be justified since we become the arbiters of right and wrong. Our culture is becoming increasingly secular in its thinking and policies. Moral relativism, situation ethics, sexual permissiveness in all its forms, abortion, theft, senseless mass murders, tolerance and even justification for dishonesty, are on the rise. We are at a critical time, a tipping point, in the history of our nation.
The theory of evolution deceives people into thinking they have intellectual justification for rejecting Christianity and accountability to God. Their “freedom” from religion results in lives of sin, which works destruction in themselves and society. Part of TASC’s mission is to show that science does not support the evolutionary story but, in fact, points to the Creator. Once people come to realize that science does not support evolution (“The Lie” as Ken Ham calls it), they are more open to theism, scripture, and the Gospel. Indeed, the testimony of several on the TASC board is how they were freed to believe the Bible once they saw the fallacies of evolution. The purpose of this article is to invite you, our readers, to actively partner with TASC in its fight against the false narrative of evolution and for the Gospel. We especially need articulate and technically inclined Christians who care about this issue to join us by writing articles posted on the internet, giving creation presentations locally, and engaging their friends to consider the Gospel. Folks with training in the natural sciences, math, computer science, engineering, medicine and related fields, theology, archeology, biblical languages, cryptology, information science, many of the social sciences, and others would find their backgrounds useful in this fight. Over the years, TASC has had the opportunity to speak in many churches and schools including local universities, publish hundreds of articles on the web, write a book, appear on local television programs, produce a radio program still available on the web (Amazing Creation on iTunes), and sponsor creation conferences with organizations such as AIG and CMI. The TASC Board currently consists of folks with training in geology, botany, chemistry, pathology, toxicology, electrical and computer engineering, apologetics, and medicine - many with post graduate degrees. We need people who want to be tomorrow’s leaders in this area. Below I’ll explain in some detail TASC’s mission and beliefs. We do hope you will sense God’s calling to join us.
TASC’s stated mission is “to rebuild and strengthen the foundation of the Christian faith by increasing awareness of the scientific evidence supporting the literal Biblical account of creation and refuting evolution.” Through our work we hope to demonstrate using the scientific method that the data of biology, chemistry and physics do not support naturalistic explanations for the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and molecules to man evolution. We believe that catastrophic geological processes better explain the earth’s geology, consistent with the biblical global Flood account. We believe there are many good scientific reasons for believing the earth is only thousands of years old as the scriptures teach. We also believe that sound hermeneutics applied to scripture points to the young earth view of the creation account in Genesis. Our passion is to share these views with others so they will trust the scriptures.
Here is a synopsis of what we believe the scriptures teach and objective science supports:
- The universe had a beginning and was created by a personal God who has always existed. The universe and all that is in it was created from nothing by God in 6 normal days six to ten thousand years ago. The universe was created for a purpose, namely, that humans might have a loving relationship with their Creator and that He would be glorified in it.
- Life was created by God. Chemistry and physics alone are inadequate to account for the origin of information found in even the simplest cell even under the most favorable conditions and permitting trillions of years.
- God created all the various kinds of organisms fully functional during creation week. Since then, the mutation/selection mechanism and the expression of built-in genes have caused variations within kinds. However, the mutation/selection mechanism is unable to generate the novel information required by molecules-to-man evolutionary theory.
- All humans have descended from an original pair, Adam and Eve, who were created by God on day 6 of creation week. Adam and Eve were created in God’s image giving them the capacity for morality, logical thinking, creativity, language, freedom of choice, and spirituality.
- Catastrophic geological processes in operation during Noah’s Flood are responsible for most of the sedimentary strata, the fossil record, mountain ranges, canyons, positions of the continents, tectonic plate movements, etc.
- The Godhead is a trinity of persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The triune God transcends and is the author of creation. He alone is the source of being and meaning.
- The Bible is God’s Word and was verbally transmitted to human authors so that the original manuscripts were without error. The Bible is authoritative on all subjects about which it speaks clearly including history, nature, morality, spiritual reality, and the destiny of the human race and the physical creation. Hence any theory, philosophy, or historical account that contradicts the scriptures is false by definition.
- Adam and Eve were created in harmony with God and the creation but through disobedience fell from grace. The results of the Fall included alienation from God, physical death, the possibility of being separated from God forever, a sin nature that rejects God and is passed on to each generation, and a damaged creation in a state of decay. Despite the Fall, God has from the beginning been working out His plan of redemption for humans through Christ.
- The first eleven chapters of Genesis are historically accurate. This includes the creation of the earth, universe, and all life in six normal days six to ten thousand years ago, a literal Adam and Eve, The Fall and attendant curse, a global flood, a literal ark that saved eight humans and most land animals, and the dispersion at Babel.
- God the Son became a human being (Jesus) by a virgin birth, lived a perfect life, died for our sins, and was raised from the dead. Placing our faith in His substitutionary death and resurrection is the only way we can be reconciled to God and obtain eternal life.
- Christ will return for His bride, the church, and will create a new heaven and earth where the redeemed will live forever with God in His eternal kingdom. Hence God will accomplish His eternal purposes in creation, with the removal of His curse and the restoration of all things to divine perfection.
TASC’s Approach to Science and Scripture
On an intellectual level, the creation/evolution debate is really about epistemology, that is, how we know what we know. The unbelieving scientific community espouses empiricism, rationalism, and the scientific method. That is, what is real and true is what can be observed and explained by natural processes. Presumably, natural history can be reconstructed by extrapolating observable natural processes in operation now into the past and assuming natural laws have always been as they are now. Facts are gathered by observations, explanatory hypotheses are formulated, and controlled experiments are conducted to test hypotheses. Hypotheses that explain and are consistent with the facts are retained, all others are rejected. Ideally, hard data has the final say on which theories stand or fall. This approach to knowing works well in the here and now and is how our technology has developed. But problems with this approach emerge when attempting to reconstruct the distant past when there were no humans to make observations. The beginnings of the universe and life come to mind here. Modern science does not have any real answers to the origins of the universe or life. To be sure there are speculations, some of which are more metaphysics than science, none of which are compelling. At the time of this writing, extrapolation of current knowledge into the past says the universe had a beginning and the emergence of biochemistry is extremely improbable (read impossible). The insistence that everything can be explained by natural processes has become a tenant of faith of the unbelieving scientific community. They dress up their theories in esoteric language which seems authoritative, but the reality is that they really don’t have any idea how the universe and life came to be. As it turns out, however, there were eye witnesses present at the beginnings of the universe and life. The Triune God was there and has recorded His observations of those events in His Word. Hence another and better way of knowing, revelation in scripture, gives us the answers to the questions on beginnings. The universe is not an accident or the result of impersonal forces but the work of an all powerful personal creator who has always and will always exist.
How do we know the Bible is God’s Word? Some of the ways we can know this are by fulfilled prophecies, historical events confirmed through archeology and extrabiblical writings, answered prayer, how it accurately explains the nature and value of humans and why there is evil in the world, the fidelity of transmission of the scriptures over the millennia, etc. Because the Bible has proven trustworthy in things that can be confirmed by independent sources, we can trust it by faith in things beyond direct confirmation. The unbelieving scientific community has faith and so do we, but ours is in a perfect God; theirs in the speculations of fallible men.
Scientific theories constantly change as new data become available. This is a good thing and how science should work. Hence we should be careful not to base our theology on scientific theories, even from creationists. Someone wisely said, “If you marry your theology to science today, you will be a widow tomorrow.” We should hold our theology tightly and scientific theories loosely. The weight of our trust must ultimately be in the Word of God, which does not change and will not pass away. We don’t need science’s permission to believe God’s Word. When scripture and science appear to be in conflict, scripture always gets the benefit of the doubt.
A moment’s reflection brings to mind examples of scientific revolutions/change: Newton’s law of gravitation versus Einstein’s relativity, the Steady State versus Big Bang theories of the universe, God created versus evolution of species, junk DNA versus ENCODE (tasc-creationscience.org/sites/default/files/newsletter_pdf/may2013.pdf), uniformitarianism versus catastrophism, etc. The Steady State theory, now in disfavor, held that the universe has always existed. Given enough credence, one could be persuaded by this theory that a creator was unnecessary to explain the universe. The Big Bang theory, the reigning paradigm, holds the universe had a beginning, more in line with the teachings of Genesis. But what if another theory comes along that once again says the universe has always existed and is broadly accepted by the secular scientific community? Should we then question Genesis? All the confusion can be avoided by believing the Bible regardless of what scientists are telling us about past reality. To be sure, evidence that seems to support the biblical creation account should be explored and discussed, but our trust should remain in the Word.
In our day, science has become an authoritarian scientism that considers itself the ultimate way of knowing. But science is limited in what it can know; its scope is restricted to what it can confirm through observation and experiment. Past events can’t be directly observed (except in astronomy due to the finite speed of light) or experimented with, so the best science can do in these cases is extrapolate and speculate. Revelation from a perfect, omnipotent and omniscient Creator who transcends time, on the other hand, is the best way of knowing; it does not suffer the same limitations as science. God ought to know what happened—He was there!
The Relevance of the Creation Account to the Believer and the Church
So why do we think this issue is so important? After all, can’t we believe in Jesus and be saved regardless what we believe about origins? The short answer is yes. But for those who need to be consistent in their beliefs, there can be problems. For example, if Genesis is not historically accurate, why would you assume the New Testament is any better? As recorded in the Gospels, Jesus believed in and talked about Noah, Moses, Jonah, Adam and Eve, Elijah, David, Solomon, Abraham, and others. If Genesis is historically wrong and Jesus talked about the people and events recorded in Genesis as being real, what are we to conclude? The New Testament is inaccurate? Jesus got it wrong? You see the problem?
Salvation depends upon faith in Christ’s resurrection as history, upon believing the scriptures are historically accurate and reliable. The validity of all the spiritual teaching in the New Testament depends upon the historical reality of Adam and Eve and the Fall. How humans arrived on earth (an original pair versus an evolving population) determines how one sees mankind and the Bible.
Without Adam and Eve, the doctrine of original sin has no support and neither does everyone’s need for salvation. Doubts about Genesis can lead to doubts about God’s Word in general, a deadly path to take.
TASC as an Organization
TASC as an Organization TASC is a nonprofit 501(c) corporation governed by a Board of Directors under by-laws. TASC currently has nine active board members with a possible maximum of eleven. The Board consists of elected officers: chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, and treasurer. The Board is responsible for planning public meetings, producing publications, and other TASC activities. The Board usually meets twice or more a year.
TASC’s main routine activities are holding a monthly meeting (on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm in room 207 at Providence Baptist Church) and publishing a monthly newsletter. Our newsletter is published on the internet at our website (tasc-creationscience.org). Currently there are roughly 250 articles on the site covering many topics related to creation and intelligent design. We are occasionally asked to speak at local churches and universities.
The need for good apologetics in the area of origins will only increase. The church needs to reach out to the younger generations. The false narratives of scientism and naturalism need to be confronted. TASC has been in existence for over 30 years. Most of the Board members are 50+ years old. We need greater participation from friends of TASC, especially younger folks. Such involvement would require your time and talent. Service opportunities include writing, speaking, inviting friends and unbelievers, evangelism, and research. Want to know more? Write me or call anytime (Dan Reynolds, dwr51055 [at] aol.com, 919-827-2107) or come out to a meeting and talk to us.
While TASC does not have any laboratory facilities, we can do research through reading the scientific literature and working with data already available. There are currently available several exciting and fruitful areas of research such as dinosaur soft tissue with intact biomolecules and residual C14, cosmology, information (codes) in biochemistry, radiometric dating, human genetics, atmospheric C14 levels in the past, the RNA world (origin of life), catastrophic geological processes, “junk” DNA, climate change, and convergent evolution, just to name a few. Investigating these topics would help strengthen your faith and the faith of others. TASC has also been blessed with some financial resources that can facilitate the research. Will you join us?