Why is Teaching Creation Important at a Christian College?
December 2, 2015
Does it surprise you to know that, when it comes to their science departments, most Christian colleges and universities either ignore the issue of Creation and Genesis altogether, or they promote theistic evolution or some other harmonization of Genesis?
There are only a handful of schools that believe that Genesis is historically accurate and forms a foundation for science, the Bible, and Christian education.
So, is it really that important for a Christian college to teach Creation? According to guest contributor Dr. John Whitmore, the answer is a definite yes! He offers the following 5 reasons to consider:
- Creation forms a foundation for the rest of Scripture. Because of Genesis, the world makes sense. There we learn why we have sin, death, disease, and suffering. We learn why the world is not the perfect place that we know a good God would have designed. We learn that man is specially created in God’s image and commanded to be a steward over the creation, but he is fallen. As scientists, we learn the origin of the time-space-matter universe: “In the beginning (time), God created the heavens (space) and the earth (matter).”
- Creation is consistently taught throughout the Word of God. Not only is the concept of Creation taught in Genesis, it is referenced throughout the Bible. Consider Exodus 20:11: “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them.” This is part of the fourth commandment and clearly says that God made all things in six days (not over thousands or millions of years). In Matthew 19:4, Jesus said that He made Adam and Eve at the beginning of Creation (not millions of years after the beginning). Throughout Scripture we can find many references back to Genesis, all of which consider events like Creation and Noah’s Flood to be actual, historical events that took place only thousands of years ago.
- Teaching creation develops critical thinking within students. When students are presented with alternatives or competing views about something, it causes them to think critically about the strengths and weaknesses of various positions. Along with Creation, I regularly teach evolution, young earth, old earth, uniformitarianism, catastrophism, and many other views that will challenge my students to think.
- Teaching creation helps us develop hypotheses that can be tested. The book of Genesis has some interesting stories that can be restated as hypotheses and then tested with science. These are hypotheses that might not otherwise be considered if you approached science from an evolutionary perspective. For example, Creation implies an Intelligent Designer. We should be able to find examples of intelligent design throughout the physical and biological worlds. The account of Noah’s Flood suggests we should find evidence of marine inundation of all the continents. The genealogies in Scripture suggest we should find evidence of an earth that is just thousands of years old.
- Teaching creation develops excellent students. Some may think that Christian students educated about the possibility of historical truth in Genesis would turn out to be subpar. The evidence from our department does not support that concern. For example, last summer we sent eight of our geology students to secular field camps sponsored by other universities all over the United States. Field camp is an intensive five- or six-week course where students are taught geological mapping techniques. Three of our students received the top scores in their respective camps of 30–40 students. The other five received grades far above average compared to their secular peers.
John H. Whitmore is a Professor of Geology in Cedarville University's Department of Science and Mathematics. He earned his Ph.D. in biology with a paleontology emphasis from Loma Linda University. He speaks internationally on the topics of Creation, geology, and Noah’s Flood.
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