In February 2016, I had the privilege of speaking to many in India on the authority of Scripture, in relation to theistic evolution teaching coming into India.
With my colleague Dr Nigel Robinson (PhD, Molecular Biology) we were able to reach a good number of UESI (Union of Evangelical Students of India) fellowships (Indian equivalent of the UCCF) in the universities and colleges across India — Delhi, Calcutta (Kolkata), Trivandrum, Cochin (Kochi) and Madras (Chennai) — and warn them of the bad science as well as bad theology coming from the West.
During this visit it was an honour to give the Professor Hannington Enoch Memorial Lecture in Delhi. Prof. Enoch stood firm, in the 1960s, on the authority of Scripture and, in particular, on the creation position affirmed in Genesis. He founded UESI, as a result of coming out of the SCM (Student Christian Movement) that had embraced liberalism and ceased to recognise the true authority of the Scriptures.
In earlier years, UCCF in the UK also was formed as a result of coming out of SCM, and, in many respects, there is much for us to learn from UESI, as its leadership continue to stand firm on crucial areas of biblical authority. However, there are pockets of influential people in India seeking to push for accommodation of evolutionary thinking.
In Calcutta, at a meeting entitled ‘Has science buried God?’ it was significant that about 100 students and church leaders drank in the Creation message, though there was opposition from one person who had been heavily influenced by theistic evolutionary error propounded by the Faraday Institute in Cambridge.
This underscored the very serious battle that we are engaged in and which is within the evangelical church. Many with reputations for being evangelical are sadly siding with the enemies of truth. Such are also undermining the good work of UESI, who stand for biblical inerrancy and against evolutionary sophistry.
How encouraging at the end of the evening when Dr Arun K. Sarkar of Buntain Theological College prayed most earnestly for the students, and UESI in particular, to take the firm stand that Prof. Enoch had made years before.
In my travels I am finding that two books are having a great influence on the evangelical church. One is John Walton’s The lost world of Genesis one, which is increasingly being used to attract unwary seminary professors into theological compromise on this crucial issue.
The book is subtle, for it admits the meaning of ‘day’ in Genesis 1 is to be taken in the normal sense, but Walton then argues that the actual physical creation of light, the expanse of heaven, the earth, flowers and trees, sun, moon, stars, fish, birds, animals and man is not being referred to, but rather the filling of a ‘cosmic temple’ with each part of the inanimate universe and all the creatures.
This idea is not, in practice, too different from the ‘framework’ view of Genesis 1, which has long been held by theistic evolutionists and day-age proponents (those who regard God as using six long periods of time to create).
Invariably, most of these end up, not only undermining the straightforward declaration of God’s physical creation by his voice, but taking the view that Genesis 6-9 is not a literal world-wide Flood.
This argument can readily be shown to be false. The Old Testament rainbow promise and Luke 17 and 2 Peter 3 make it abundantly plain that the Flood was global. The rainbow promise (Genesis 9) makes no sense if God had been saying he would never bring a local flood again.
Flooding has clearly happened many times across the world, not least in the UK recently, but certainly in Bangladesh, Malawi, and Japan, to mention some of the most recent major floods. Perhaps the worst event which shows that a local flood could not have been envisaged, was the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004, when 250,000 people died in one day.
The world-wide nature of the deluge is underlined in Luke 17 and 2 Peter 3, when Christ and the apostle Peter compare the second coming of Christ (clearly world-wide) with the Flood.
The other book having a serious influence on the evangelical church is The language of science and faith, produced by Biologos authors Karl Giberson and Francis Collins (who, for many years, led the Human Genome project in the US).
When I was with the UESI leadership in the southern state of Kerala, one of the leaders who had been reading this book, came to discuss the serious dangers this book brings. It treats evolution as totally ‘proved’ scientifically, and does not even engage with powerful evidence from a number of disciplines, including genetics.
One of the most powerful arguments is in the area of information and thermodynamics, where it is now evident that information controls local thermodynamic pathways, and not the other way round.
Think for instance of the control system machinery that checks the DNA, to make sure that the right sequences have been put together. Such checking machinery cannot have evolved itself since, by definition, the information it is checking has to be ‘known’, as a given already. So this information must be transcendent to machinery that is both making the DNA (DNA polymerase) and checking.
That book and others fail to consider hard evidence that repeatedly shows fossil formation by catastrophe. The trilobites, with their exquisite eye formation (see Origins: Examining the evidence, Truth in Science, 2009), all show rapid burial. Slow burial will never produce such impressions.
My friend John Mackay, a geologist in Queensland showed me, in January, huge slabs of fossils of these creatures, all tangled up with other sea creatures and sea plants, and clearly showing catastrophe; fish with scales still visible, and some showing them in the middle of eating another creature; dinosaurs with scales still visible, and some buried together in their thousands. The true big picture is clearly the Flood and its aftermath (some of the higher fossils may be of post-Flood burials as the world settled down).
So, as I went to India and saw a well-founded, good organisation standing firm on the Scriptures, and particularly on Genesis, I would like to ask readers of Evangelical Times to pray for UESI and its important influence in Indian universities across the country.
Pray also for Jyoti Chakravartty, who runs the Creation Science Association of India (based in Calcutta), and who, in the midst of some setbacks due to illness, is completing his thesis on the Puritans and Genesis, for his Masters in theology, at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids.
Few realise that Calcutta, with 14.5 million people, and which saw so much blessing from Carey’s witness over 200 years ago, has little biblical witness today.
Andy McIntosh is retired from the University of Leeds and is now a Visiting Research Professor of Thermodynamics (at Leeds) and an adjunct professor at the University of Mississippi. He is author of Genesis for today (Day One) and Genesis 1 to 11: a verse by verse commentary (Day One).