In the November 13th 2006 Time Magazine there was an account of a 90 minute debate arranged by Time between an eminent Christian scientist, Francis Collins, and Richard Dawkins, an Oxford professor and an atheist. Collins says he believes God’s creative power “brought it all into being in the first place”, and that by studying the natural world he is able “to observe the majesty, the elegance, the intricacy of God’s creation”. But then he proceeds to say that he does not see that Dawkin’s “basic account of evolution is incompatible with God having designed it”! When discussion on the literality of the Genesis account of Creation arose, Collins says, “there are sincere believers who interpret Genesis 1 and 2 in a very literal way that is inconsistent frankly with our knowledge of the universe’s age, or how living organisms are related to each other”. Clearly he was distancing himself from those who believe and accept the story of Creation presented plainly in Genesis and affirmed consistently in the rest of Scripture.

It is important and instructive for us to review what the Bible, accepted without question in our community as the Word of God, actually does say on these matters. Can we hold the view that the Genesis account is allegorical? If we do, then how does this impact upon our belief that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God”? Was Adam actually formed by God on the sixth day of Creation, or was he a representative man, selected by God after the evolutionary process had moulded him over millions or billions of years? These are serious questions and tragically Francis Collins’ position compromises the clear, unmistakable and universal teaching of Scripture.

Consider the following illustrations from a range of Bible passages, each of which affirms and confirms that the Genesis account is to be taken as read, that is, literally.

On the sabbath day, God revealing His will to Moses, declared that the children of Israel were to do no servile work and the reason given is, “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed” (Exod 31:15–17). How was Israel to read this? Were they to believe that the six days of creative activity were huge periods required for evolution to produce man? Clearly the natural reading is otherwise, which is also made plain by the refrain after each day of creative activity in the Genesis account, “And the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).

And what about the inspired Psalmist? Was he mistaken when he spoke of the fiats of God by which His creative acts were done: “By the word of Yahweh were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth… Let all the earth fear Yahweh: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast” (Psa 33:6–9). God uttered His voice and there was an instantaneous performance of His will! How else can Scripture be read? Will this passage accommodate the idea of billions of years of evolution? Can a believer hold this theistic evolutionary view and still claim to believe all Scripture to be inspired by God? Jesus said, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 19:3). It almost seems that the next verse in the Psalm anticipates the arrogance and unbelief implicit in the evolutionist, when it declares, “Yahweh bringeth the counsel of the heathen [nations] to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect” (v10).

The same witness to the veracity and literality of the Genesis account of Creation is to be found in the prophets. How many times in Isaiah, does Yahweh assert that He is Sovereign, the Architect of Creation, the Author of Prophecy and the Controller of history? That it is His purpose in Creation that is being realised and will climax with His Son’s return and the establishment of His Kingdom and glory in all the earth? Consider carefully the spirit, power and message behind these words, “For thus saith Yahweh that created the heavens, God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am Yahweh; and there is none else” (Isa 45:18). The message could not be plainer! Who would be so bold and foolish as to deny the clarion import?

And what about the mind of the Son of God, the one on whom the Spirit of Yahweh would rest, conferring upon him the spirit of wisdom and understanding … counsel and might … the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Yahweh? (Isa 11:1–3) Surely no one would dare doubt or question His opinion!? Citing the words of Genesis without hesitation or modification he answered the question on “putting away”, “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female…” (Mark 10:6–7); when encouraging trust in His Father’s promise to provide and clothe, he said, “if God so clothe the lilies of the field…” (Matt 6:28–30); and when reprobating the hypocrisy of the Pharisees he pointed out that they were fools because “He that made that which is without, made that which is within also” (Luke 11:40). Jesus’ belief and understanding is plain and so should his disciples’ be also. He believed that God made man and woman, the “lilies of the field”, and man’s exterior and interior, and so should we. We are in good company when we stand with our Lord and our King.

So what then of those professing Christians who think they have to apologize for the Genesis account of Creation? Plainly they have drifted from their moorings and face disaster. The Bible speaks with one voice on this matter from Genesis to Revelation. Belief in the inspiration of the Bible logically means belief in the Genesis account.

The implications of the evolutionary theory, theistic or otherwise, not only undermine the credibility of Scripture, but also the account of the Fall of man and the redemptive work God foreshadowed in the beginning. What are we to make of the statement, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 15:22); or, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom 5:12)? If Adam was not a real man, but the end product of a protracted evolutionary process, what does this mean so far as the record of Genesis 3 etc is concerned? And what about the serpent, and Cain and Abel?

The message is clear. Our faith and beliefs stand on God’s Word, found in Moses, the Psalms and the Prophets, and in latter times on the words of the Son of God and the apostles. Let us hold fast our conviction in the power and infallibility of the Holy Oracles.

“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you ; in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Saviour” (2 Peter 3:1–2)