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Why Genesis Matters (Part IV)

By Doy Moyer

Genesis matters for many reasons. It is the foundation for understanding who God is and who we are. It is foundational to life, giving us a grasp on what our purpose is in living. It is foundational to salvation, teaching us the nature of sin and what steps God has taken to bring us back to a proper relationship with Him. Without the foundation of Genesis, we would be floundering in uncertainty and spiraling deeper into sin.

Genesis also matters because we are in a cultural war. Major worldviews are in serious competition for hearts and minds, and at the base of the battle is the issue of origins: the creation/evolution debate. While this is no attempt to look at all the facets of the creation and evolution debate, it is important to see why this war exists.

At the heart of evolutionism is a philosophy devoid of God. Philosophical Naturalism is the underlying presupposition of evolutionary theory. To see the significance of this, we should consider how the word “science” itself is often defined. Phillip E. Johnson captures this point well in his The Wedge of Truth:

The most important crack in the modernist log is the difference between two distinct definitions of science. On the one hand, modernists say that science is impartial fact-finding, the objective and unprejudiced weighing of evidence. Science in that sense relies on careful observations, calculations, and above all, repeatable experiments. That kind of objective science is what makes technology possible, and where it can be employed it is indeed the most reliable way of determining the facts. On the other hand, modernists also identify science with naturalistic philosophy. In that case science is committed to finding and endorsing naturalistic explanations for every phenomenon – regardless of the facts. That kind of science is not free of prejudice. On the contrary, it is defined by a prejudice. The prejudice is that all phenomena can ultimately be explained in terms of purely natural causes, which is to say unintelligent causes. (14)

Johnson nails the point. There are two distinct concepts concerning science. We normally think of it as being (ideally) objective fact-finding based upon observation and experimentation. But clearly evolutionists use the term science in the second sense: naturalistic philosophy committed to backing naturalistic worldviews. In other words, they accept evolution, not on the basis of facts, but in spite of them. This, in turn, means that one cannot suggest the possibility that there is a supernatural agent (God) at work in this world without contradicting “science.” This is precisely why creationists are often seen as hindrances to scientific progress.

In this view of science, everything that exists has a purely naturalistic explanation; there is no room for the possibility that there is a God who could have any meaningful relationship to this world. Naturalists, of course, do not see a difference in these concepts of science. To them, “science” is naturalism, and naturalism is “science.” Through their naturalistic assumptions, they freely pontificate in the name of “science.” Anyone who challenges naturalism is vilified as standing against science. This lies at the heart of the culture war today.

Of course, once the naturalistic bias is granted, evolutionism finds its strength. But here is a point at issue: naturalism is itself an assumption. It is a presupposition, and it cannot in any way be verified, proved, or observed by the scientific method. By their very own view of science, naturalists cannot prove that naturalism is true; and they should not espouse it on the basis that it cannot be verified scientifically. They are in quite a pickle here, and theists should press them on this.  

Philosopher William James once astutely pointed out that “a rule of thinking which would absolutely prevent me from acknowledging certain kinds of truth if those kinds of truth were really there, would be an irrational rule” (183). Naturalists have ruled out the possibility of anything beyond nature. If there is actually something beyond nature, they have excluded the possibility of discovering this, which make this worldview irrational. God must be kept out of objective reality and science at all costs.

With all of this in mind, it should be obvious that theists should not try to capitulate Genesis to the naturalistic biases of evolutionism. Genesis cannot be reconciled with macroevolutionary theory, period. The theory of evolution, by definition, excludes God. Thus any attempt to make Genesis fit the modern scheme of “science” (i.e., naturalism) will fail. Calling it “theistic evolution” in this context is like calling it “theistic naturalism” (see Johnson, What is Darwinism?). No one should feel the need to surrender Genesis by making it subservient to a view that has no room for God from the outset. If we give up this ground, we might as well run up the white flag and quit calling ourselves Bible believers.

Once again, this is at the heart of the culture war because of its effect on our two major issues: who is God and who is man? If evolutionism is right, then think back to the consequences of being without God. There is no deity to save us; we really are a hopeless, pathetic race with no greater purpose that can be objectively discerned. You cannot teach evolutionism and not expect people to take it to its conclusions. It is no surprise that people act like animals, when they’ve been taught that’s where they came from. On the other hand, if Genesis is right, as we contend, then we are accountable to our Creator, and therefore it matters how you act, talk, dress, and live. Life is meaningful because we know who we are within the context of a Creator who made us in His image.

Without the foundation of Genesis, we flounder in opinion as to how to live our lives. The moral effects of accepting creation or evolution should be obvious. Without a standard, who is right or wrong? Who can say? In a pagan world, Paul began with God (Acts 17). Perhaps we should begin there, too. Getting back to the roots, we gain an understanding of who we are and why we are here. Evolutionism cannot provide answers to the most important questions of life. This is why Genesis matters.

Works Cited

James, William. “The Will to Believe.” Philosophy and Contemporary Issues. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1995. 177-183.

Johnson, Phillip E. “What is Darwinism?” 18 October, 2005,

Johnson, Phillip E. The Wedge of Truth. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

(Doy Moyer preaches regularly for the church in Cork, FL. He is a professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, FL. He has his own web site located at You can write him at

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