According to Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, a deist is defined as someone who believes: 1) that God exists and created the world but thereafter assumed no control over it or the lives of people. 2) that reason is sufficient to prove the existence of God, with the consequent rejection of revelation and authority. A theist is defined as someone who believes: 1) in a god or gods. 2) in one God; monotheism: opposed to pantheism, polytheism . 3) in one God who is creator and ruler of the universe and known by revelation: distinguished from deism . A revelationist is defined as someone who believes: 1) in divine revelation. 2) in God's disclosure or manifestation to his creatures of himself and his will. [Italics in the original]
Today we have deists and theists proclaiming to the world that God exists because the evidence is overwhelming that there is a Designer God (a Greater Intelligence, a Creator God) who made the universe and all the things in it. There is a problem that this creates. (Please excuse the pun.) The problem is that the deists and many of the theists who are either within the Christian church or are influencing the thinking of many Christians are not supporting 1) Orthodox Christianity, 2) a young earth/universe and 3) salvation by faith in the redeeming work of Jesus on the Cross.
The current vocal deists (Drs. Michael Denton, Michael Behe, William Dembski, Jonathan Wells, et. al.) have excellent scientific and mathematical arguments for the existence of a divine creator and the total inadequacy of evolution theories to explain the existence of the scientific laws, natural processes and physical evidence that we find in the earth and universe. They use terms like intelligent design, irreducible complexity and specified complexity. With specified caution I do recommend reading their books and may select them for sale through our web site (although there are none there at the time this article was written).
I do recommend reading their books as long as you are able to glean only the useful arguments and do not accept their theology. These people do not argue for a young earth/universe. They are not trying to point people to Christ.
There are theists who truly believe in the Creator God of the Bible and salvation through Christ, yet they do not accept His revelation of a completed supernatural creation about 6,000 years ago. Instead they believe that the God of the Bible used some form of evolutionary process to bring the current creation into existence over millions and billions of supposed years of time. Unfortunately, the majority of Christians today either accept an old earth/universe; or, they have simply decided not to think about it and the implications of such a belief, and they have allowed themselves to be influenced by the first group and go along with the crowd.
Collectively we may refer to deists and old earth theists as theistic evolutionists . There are many forms of theistic evolutionism. However, while there are many slightly different versions, they all basically fit into three groups.
The first group is the true deist who says that God may be deduced to exist because the obvious design seen in nature proves there is Designer God. The deist, however, believes that God started it all and then went home to read the newspaper and he has not been back since. This position states that God created the universe, the initial single celled life and He then gave it the intrinsic ability to evolve upward on its own until finally reaching the current state of man's existence. So, here we have God at the beginning only.
The second group contains those theists who believe that God used evolutionary processes over a long period of time in order to achieve the current creation. This group states that God used a screwdriver here, a wrench there and a hammer whenever it was needed and did this over millions and billions of supposed years. So, here we have God throughout the process.
The third group is certainly the smallest one. It consists of those who are perfectly willing to accept that everything in the universe is self existent and evolved entirely on its own until one day God came walking through the universe and said, Gee, this would make a perfect place for humans made in My image. God then created man and woman and placed them into an evolved universe. This placates the person who is willing to accept evolution in total; with the exception that humans are a unique creation of God and man did not evolve from a common primate ancestor. So, here we have God at the end.
What is wrong with accepting any of these positions or the variants of them?
First, if any of these positions were true then God is not omniscient. He is not smart enough to do things right, whole and complete from the start. He lacks knowledge. He has to experiment over time in order to figure out how to accomplish the task. In this view God is a small god and He is not all knowing.
Second, if any of these positions were true then God is not omnipotent. He is not strong enough to do things right, whole and complete from the start. He is incapable of bringing all things into existence at one time. In this view God is a small god and He is not all powerful.
Third, if either the first or third of these groups were correct then God is not omnipresent. He is not present to do things right, whole and complete. In this view God is distant, cannot be fully known and only reveals Himself at certain times. In this view God is a small god and He cannot be relied upon to be there when you need Him.
Fourth, if any of these positions were true then God is not omnijudicious - He is not smart enough to judge all things in a right, whole and complete manner. He lacks absolute wisdom, righteousness and compassion. He is incapable of perfect righteous judgment because He is weak and capricious. He cannot fully identify with us. In this view God is a small god and He is not all judging.
Fifth, if any of these positions were true then the death of nephesh organisms occurred before human sin. Nephesh is the Hebrew word meaning life, soul and blood. It refers to consciousness. The soul is the intellect, emotion and will. Soul is what makes a body animate. The Bible states in Genesis that plants, protozoa and insects do not have nephesh while cats, dogs, cattle and humans do have nephesh . The death of plants, protozoa and insects prior to human sin is not a problem. The death of nephesh organisms prior to human sin is an overwhelming hurdle!
This point simply cannot be overstated!
The Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being [soul, nephesh ]. Genesis 2:7 NAS
And He answered and said, Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh'? Matt. 19:4-5 NAS [ They were there at the time of the creation; they did not come along later. ]
Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned - for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, . . . For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. . . . For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Romans 5: 12-17 NAS
For since by a man [Adam] came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. 1 Cor. 15:21-22 NAS
If death of nephesh beings occurred before sin, then death is common, and the death of one man on a cross is meaningless. It is only because death came into the universe as a consequence of human sin that the death of the One sinless man on a Cross may expunge our sins and give us eternal life!
Sixth, if any of these theistic evolutionary positions were true then God is a liar. He is capricious, unrighteous and He cannot be trusted to tell us the truth. All versions of theistic evolution require that God brought the physical universe into existence slowly and gradually over millions and billions of supposed years. In contrast to their view, the Scripture clearly tells us that God created the universe, and all the physical things in it, recently in only six literal 24 hour days as recorded in Genesis Chapter One.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11 NAS
So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor , and was refreshed. Exodus 31: 16-17 NAS
For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. Psalm 33:9 NAS
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created. Psalm 148:5 NAS
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their host. Genesis 2:1 NAS
Mankind was created on the sixth day of the creation week as recorded in Genesis 1:24-31. Genesis 5: 1-2 says: This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. NAS
For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited [immediately from the beginning]), I am the Lord, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:18 NAS
They said to Him, Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE AND DIVORCE HER?' He said to them, Because of your hardness of heart, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way [man and woman were there immediately from the beginning] .' Matthew 19:7-8 NAS
It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it [immediately from the beginning] . I stretched out the heavens with My Hands, and I ordained all their host. Isaiah 45:12 NAS [See also Matt. 19:4-5 again.]
The heavens are the heavens of the Lord; but the earth He has given to the sons of men [immediately from the beginning]. Psalm 115:16 NAS
God did not create the earth and then bring man along later through evolutionary processes over millions and billions of supposed years. He created the earth to be inhabited by mankind immediately upon its creation.
Nor may we forget that God cannot lie.
God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will not do it? Or, has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Numbers 23:19 NAS
In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, in order that by two unchangeable things [a promise and an oath of guarantee], in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us. Hebrews 6:17-18 NAS
Seventh, if any of these positions were true then God is not able to save a remnant. He is a weak God and His character is in question. If any version of theistic evolution were true then life and death have been going on for millions and billions of supposed years with the subsequent effect that God has been without a witness during most of that time. If He is not able to save a remnant He cannot be trusted to save us.
The testimony of Scripture, however, is that God has always had a witness. Eight souls survived the Flood of Noah. 70 were saved by going into Egypt , but millions would come from them.
Eighth, if any of these positions is true then the inerrancy of the Bible is a false doctrine. For example; theistic and atheistic evolutionists require that the earth and universe must be old. The Bible clearly teaches that the age of the earth is about 6,000 years. Which one is correct?
The Bible contains accurate chronologies of the age of the earth based upon the genealogies of the people listed in it. Secular history is useful in helping to show that the Bible is inerrant concerning the age of the earth. There has been approximately 2,000 years from Jesus until the present time, a figure agreed to by all knowledgeable historians. Historians also agree that there was approximately 2,000 years from Abraham to Jesus. The only question would then be how long was it from Adam to Abraham? The answer to this question cannot be obtained through secular histories as none of them can go back farther than the Flood of Noah.
In 1 Corinthians 15:45, Paul affirms the Genesis account that Adam was the first man. In Mark 10:6 and Matthew 19:4, Jesus tells us that Adam was created in the beginning during the creation week of Genesis Chapter One. Luke records that there were 55 generations from Abraham to Jesus, and another 20 generations from Adam to Abraham. Jude 14 unequivocally states that Enoch was the seventh generation from Adam. This would leave only 13 generations between Enoch and Abraham. If the Bible is to be trusted about the first seven generations, why should it not be accurate about the next 13? Clearly there was about 2,000 years from Adam to Abraham and the age of the earth may be comfortably set at about 6,000 years old. There is no compelling reason to invent or accept an old age for the earth.
What is wrong with accepting any of the deist or theistic evolutionist positions or the variants of them? Everything !
God is a just God. He may be relied upon to preserve accurately His divine message in such a way that His rational creatures would be able to know His ways, laws and ordinances for daily living and the enjoyment of a life pleasing to Him and beneficial to us.
The Scriptures declare that they have been faithfully kept for perpetuity.
Of old I have known from Thy testimonies, that Thou hast founded them forever. Psalm 119:152 NAS
The sum of Thy words is truth, and every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting. Psalm 119:160 NAS
There is, of course, no compelling reason to have to invent an old earth compromise between the Bible and the science of evolutionism. There is no scientific evidence proving that any of the earth/universe is old. The scientific techniques claimed to measure old age are highly flawed, based upon multiple false assumptions and are known to be unreliable.
The Bible does state that the earth/universe are young. As we have often demonstrated, there is compelling evidence from over 200 scientific geochronometers that the earth/universe are young.
Christians may learn useful information from, but must not accept the theology of, men like Drs. Michael Denton, Michael Behe, William Dembski, Jonathan Wells, Hugh Ross or John Clayton.