Posted November 4, 2010
Some parents in the United Kingdom are concerned about creation being taught in religious schools. Misconceptions about what the Bible says compound the issue.
A concerned mother lamented: "My son got through his whole first year at our church secondary [school] without a single mention of Darwin and evolution. But he knew all about the six days it took God to create the universe" (Rachel Carlyle, "Parenting," S Magazine , Feb. 21, 2010). Further, an evolutionary scientist "was incensed that her 10-year-old daughter was coming home from her church school with the message that God created the world in six days."
Misconceptions about the creation
Not a few parents in the United Kingdom complain about school time being allotted to the Bible, especially Genesis 1. No part of the Bible has been more misunderstood than the creation account, even by well-meaning parents.
Genesis does not say that God created the universe or the earth in six days. A firm declaration of the original creation resides in the very first verse. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).
The next verse tells us that this previously majestic earth had turned into a barren, chaotic planet, perhaps like the surface of the moon. Verse 2: "The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep." The English word was in the first phrasecan be rendered became, and the same term in the original Hebrew language is translated became in other biblical passages.
Unlike man, God does not create by first making a mess (Psalm 18:30). It was after this satanic disaster described in Genesis 1:2 (first part) that "the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters" (verse 2, last part).
What our Creator actually did on the six days was to renew and restore the earth to its original pristine condition (Psalm 104:30). Two much more complete accounts of this largely unrealized truth may be obtained by downloading or requesting our free booklets Creation or Evolution: Does It Really Matter What We Believe? and Is the Bible True? .
Professors with opposite opinions
Of course, few if any discussions of creation include this alternate biblical view that allows for an ancient universe. Widespread misconceptions about God and the Bible have entered into the basic thinking of society, including this world's intelligentsia. It seems most academics think they have an easy target by attacking the "six days" in order to dismiss the Creator.
For instance, Oxford Professor Richard Dawkins (Britain's most prominent atheist) wishes to "force faith schools to bring religious education into the national curriculum" in Britain—ostensibly just one more step in his personal campaign towards "the abolition of faith schools" ("Teach RE in Schools—but Do It Properly, Says Atheist Dawkins," The Times , July 18, 2010). Of course, his idea of proper teaching of religious education would not give any credence to a Creator.
But another Oxford professor, John Lennox, has a completely different, more rational point of view. He understands deeply that the Christian faith is based on credible evidence. For example, in response to British physicist Stephen Hawking's recent claim that gravity means the creation of the universe was inevitable without requiring a God, Professor Lennox wisely asks, "How did gravity exist in the first place?" His scientific understanding facilitates his belief in God's existence "because of my wonder at the breadth, sophistication and integrity of his creation" ("As a Scientist I'm Certain Stephen Hawking Is Wrong. You Can ' t Explain the Universe Without God," Daily Mail , Sept. 3, 2010).
Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips makes this point. "In suggesting that life sprang into existence without any kind of governing intelligence, they [evolutionary scientists] fly in the face of the evidence emerging from science that the hitherto unimaginable complexity of life forms, including the living cell, makes it scientifically impossible for life to have emerged without some kind of intelligent design" ("The Real Nutters Are the Fanatics Who Despise Religious Belief," Daily Mail , Nov. 26, 2007).
The parents' role
Obviously parents can't rely on schools to teach the biblical truths about the creation. The responsibility falls on the parents. Today our children should be urgently taught about the Creator God from the Bible as well as explaining evolution's many fallacies. Some parents may be surprised at their children's reactions. Rachel Carlyle reported that even the mother who is an evolutionary scientist noticed that when she taught them evolution "some [children's] eyes glaze over. I think they preferred the God version " ("Parenting," emphasis added).
In addition to the resources about creation and the Bible mentioned earlier, parents may also wish to read Life's Ultimate Question: Does God Exist? for more help in teaching these subjects.