(EXCLUSIVE TO CHALCEDON)
What happens when a creationist tries to state his case at a national convention of teachers?
Dr. Jobe Martin had that experience at the last National Education Association (NEA) convention, presenting his book, The Evolution of a Creationist, to the nation’s biggest teachers’ union.
“They came up to our table and cursed us, gave us the finger, took our books and videos and threw them in the trash. They were as abusive as they could be,” Dr. Martin said. “But as it says in 1 Peter 4:14, ‘If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.’ We got plenty of that spirit at that convention.”
Dr. Martin and his wife, Jenna Dee, have been touring the country promoting his book and its message of “young earth creationism” — the position that the account of the Creation given in Genesis is literally true and accurate.
He describes it as “a battle to the death” in the culture war.
Why is the battle so intense?
“The bottom line is this,” Martin said. “If evolution is not true, then there has to be a God.”
To advance the cause of Christ, he said, young earth creationists endure mockery, disrepute, and demonization. The scientific establishment, the education establishment, and the mainstream media portray them as ignorant, close-minded, ridiculous, and crazy. Although polls show that the great majority of Americans profess to be Christians, only a minority of Christians believe God created the universe in six 24-hour days some 6,000 years ago.
“None of that matters,” Dr. Martin said. “Our position helps to validate the authority of Scripture. If we don’t believe in the first few chapters of Genesis, how can we insist on the truth of the New Testament?
“We stand for submission to the literal, historical truth of the whole Bible. In Genesis, God is telling us what He did and the order in which He did it.
“Sure, there is some poetic language in Genesis. But most of it is straight Hebrew narrative, and the text makes the distinction clear.”
Young earth creationism, along with the Intelligent Design movement, has inspired countless lawsuits by evolutionists trying to keep these ideas out of the public square — especially to keep them out of the schools.
“The controversy is about a worldview,” Dr. Martin said. “Our culture stands against the Word of God. It’s an anti-Christian culture, which puts man, not God, at the center of things.
“But if those first chapters of Genesis are true, then their worldview can’t be true. That’s why they’re fighting to the death over this.
“We defend what the Bible teaches, whether the culture goes that way or not, whether the church itself goes that way.
“The stakes are high for us too. If Jesus Christ is not our creator, if He didn’t do it like He says He did, then He has no authority or right to be our redeemer.”
The Evolution of a Creationist
Dr. Martin’s book, The Evolution of a Creationist, is available from Biblical Discipleship Publishers, Rockwell, TX (www.biblicaldiscipleship.org; 972-771-0568). In great detail, and in an easy, readable style, it exposes the theory of evolution as a combination of untestable assumptions, logical fallacies, special pleading, wishful thinking, and outright fraud. At the same time, it clearly states the Biblical basis for young earth creationism.
But Martin wasn’t always a creationist.
“Like most Americans, I was educated to believe in evolution,” he said. He majored in biology at Bucknell University, earned his doctorate in dentistry from the University of Pittsburgh Dental School, and worked for NASA during the era of the lunar landings. In 1971, he joined the faculty at Baylor Dental School.
“One of my first lectures was on the evolution of the tooth — how fish scales migrated to the fish’s mouth and became teeth,” he recalled. “I can’t believe I believed that!”
Challenged by some of his students who were creationists, Dr. Martin began a five-year process of rethinking his position.
“It took me a long time to change my mind,” he said. “First I examined the assumptions of evolutionary thinking and learned they weren’t valid. Then I studied the irreducible complexity of highly specialized animals — like the bombardier beetle, which has an intricate mechanism for defending itself with toxic, blistering chemicals — that couldn’t possibly have ‘evolved’ in stages. Finally, I examined the Bible and concluded that God meant just what He said.”
His journey took him to Dallas Theological Seminary, where he earned a master’s degree in Systematic Theology in 1986. He is now the president of Biblical Discipleship Ministries, Inc.
Christians Doubtful of Creationism
“Most people, Christians included, come to Genesis with a set of preconceived ideas that they think of as ‘science,’” Dr. Martin said. “They adjust Scripture to fit what ‘science’ says, when it ought to be the other way around.”
They pick up a belief in evolution from the culture, he said, and America’s churches have not been immune from cultural contamination either.
“The church is getting wiped out in this debate,” he said, “trying to fight this battle without relying on the Word of God. They’ve gone very soft on Biblical doctrine. They want to be entertainment-oriented and avoid offending people.
“Meanwhile, the Bible hasn’t changed. Science changes constantly. Almost everything I learned in college has been proved to be untrue. But that’s science. Today’s science is tomorrow’s baloney.”
Indoctrination by the culture holds Christians back from accepting the literal truth of Genesis, he said — even though the same Christians overwhelmingly profess belief in “scientific impossibilities” in the New Testament, including Jesus’ virgin birth, Resurrection, and miracles.
“I suppose there are other things that hold people back,” Dr. Martin said. “Fear of what others will think of them, fear of being ridiculed, fear of being penalized in their careers — it does take some courage to make the change.”
“We Will Prevail”
Is it impious to seek to know the exact age of the earth, the mechanics of extinction, or the processes by which the earth and living things have assumed their present forms?
“Not at all,” Dr. Martin said. “Romans 1 urges us to study God’s creation so as to give Him the glory and the thanks for it. He wants us to study it; and what we learn should drive us into the Word. We should say, ‘Look what God has done! I want to know Him better!’
“So there’s nothing wrong with studying science and trying to understand God’s creation. We just shouldn’t try to make Scripture conform to ‘science.’ If the Scripture is clear, and our scientific findings seem to contradict it, then we know there’s something wrong with our findings.”
Despite lawsuits, intimidation, censorship by the media, angry public confrontations, and non-supportive churches, creationists will continue to preach their message, Martin said.
“I am totally confident that the young earth view, the Biblical view, will prevail,” he said. “Can anybody doubt it’s what Jesus Himself, or Paul, would teach, if they were here today?”
- Lee Duigon
Lee is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels and a contributing editor for our Faith for All of Life magazine. Lee provides commentary on cultural trends and relevant issues to Christians, along with providing cogent book and media reviews.
Lee has his own blog at www.leeduigon.com.