Prior to the start of the school year, a parent very wisely asked me to write an article which essentially responds to the following question – “How can a Christian effectively respond to â€˜Walking with Dinosaurs: The Life Experience,’ a traveling stage show which depicts dinosaurs as they lived prior to extinction?”
The “Walking with Dinosaurs” production is described by the producers as a “dazzling arena spectacle of unprecedented size and quality,” and it is scheduled in Des Moines for October 1-5 at the Iowa Events Center.
What’s the rub?! Why any controversy?! Dinosaurs are cool! Dinosaurs fascinate people, particularly schoolchildren. “There’s no harm in studying dinosaurs,” you might say.
Don’t be so sure. In a sense, you are exactly right. The archeological record obviously proves the existence of dinosaurs. Their unique size and shapes and types are simply fascinating. I remember being mesmerized as a kid by vibrant artistic renderings of dinosaurs.
Here is where we, as Christians, need to put on our “biblical worldview glasses,” so as not to buy hook-line-and-sinker into the promotional words about this dinosaur event. Actually, I believe you will have no difficulty distinguishing the unsubstantiated assertions from biblical truth.
The Iowa Events Center press release for “Walking with Dinosaurs,” read, in part, “The show depicts the dinosaurs’ evolution spanning their entire 200 million year reign. The history of the world is played out with almost cinematic realism. . . .You will see how carnivorous dinosaurs evolved to walk on two legs. . . .”
Hmm. Things that make me go, “Hmm.” The commentary makes the assumption of the age of the earth to be hundreds of millions of years old. The commentary makes the assumption that the theories of Darwinian evolution actually occurred. Both assumptions are stated as “fact” or “truth.”
Have you studied, or at least thought about, the age of the earth or evolution? If not, I suggest that you do. We need to be able to comment intelligently upon that which we believe to be truth. The world has definite positions on these important issues, and nearly all of these worldviews are diametrically opposed to a biblical worldview. Such is the cosmic warfare which rages on the battleground of ideas.
Based on my study of the issues, I believe in a six-day creation of literal 24-hour days. I believe that the earth is around 6,000 years old. (Such is known as the “Young Earth” Theory.) I do not believe in macro-evolution, a position which states that, given enough time (millions and millions of years), ooze evolved into fishes, which evolved into four-legged land-walkers, which evolved into two-legged primates, which ultimately evolved into human beings.
Do I have a corner on the truth? Can I substantiate my beliefs beyond all shadow of a doubt? No on both counts. But I have studied the data, and I have drawn informed conclusions. Many Christians do not even think about these issues, mindlessly accepting the “truth” of biased scientists and journalists.
Four years ago, our full-time K-12 staff viewed and discussed all of Ken Ham’s “Answers in Genesis” videotapes. Such was time well spent. Whether you agree with all of Ken Ham’s positions or not, you must admit that he is one of the most well-studied creation scientists in the world. His new creation museum recently opened in Kentucky.
What you believe about creation influences your beliefs about sin and redemption as well.
The worldview of secular humanism, for instance, espouses that
- Man is the source of truth. Theology is rooted in the individual. Everyone perceives truth in his own eyes.
- God does not exist. The absence of God from a person’s worldview allows him to set his own rules for living, and he is accountable to no one but himself.
- In the beginning, “the cosmos,” according to Carl Sagan.
- Beasts of the air, land, and sea – including dinosaurs – evolved as beings over time.
- Man climbed out of the ooze over the course of millions of years.
- Man is basically good and perfectible, headed to a state of “self-actualization.”
Regrettably, such humanism is taking over the nation, public schools, some Christian schools, some churches, and homes.
The Christian who believes the Bible believes that
- The Bible is the source of truth.
- And “In the beginning, God. . . .”
- “. . .the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1)
- Everything about God’s creation was initially good – the earth, man, woman, work, animals. Genesis records God’s reaction to his creation. He “saw that it was good.” We are not “accidents.” We did not crawl out of primordial ooze. We were created in a state of being which we currently inhabit.
- God set up boundaries in the Garden of Eden.
- Satan tempted Eve and Adam, both of whom disobeyed, declaring independence from God’s commands.
- As a result of this “Original Sin,” God cursed man, woman, work, world, AND animals.
- Death entered the equation. Humans and animals would no longer live forever. They began dying, and they die to this day.
- Man is sinful and can only be made perfect in heaven through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
- Work and the earth are cursed and can only be redeemed by the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Is this much ado about nothing? “Why do Christians have to get so “het up” about these kinds of things?” you may ask. Can’t they just allow children to engage their imagination about what dinosaurs must have been like when they roamed the earth?
Actually, I encourage you to take your children to “Walking with Dinosaurs: The Live Experience.” Go. Be entertained. Enjoy the dramatic show. AND, most importantly, teach your children to be cautious as they consider the teaching of the world and how they can make sense of assertions from a biblical worldview.
We do not know all truth this side of heaven, particularly with disputable matters which the Bible does not specifically address, but we can SEEK truth, asking God to illuminate more of the mysteries of his creation. The magnificent of God’s creation included dinosaurs. We should praise God for the diversity of lives which He created.
And our belief system must be consistent. Christians must believe in the Bible and believe in God. Christians must not believe evolutionists. According to Ken Ham, many scientists do not want to “allow a divine foot in the door.” Should we believe scientists simply because they are scientists?! Indeed not! Some of their assertions are absurd. Much of their “evidence” is exaggerated or – worst yet – fabricated! The Darwinist believes in unsubstantiated “science.” One creation scientist has said, “I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science.” (Lovtrup in “The Truth Project,” by Dr. Del Tackett, 2006)
Ours is the same world. Creationists and evolutionists interpret the world differently, because of the worldviews through which we consider the same evidence. Should we be surprised that a majority of scientists disagree with Christians?! No! Ken Ham asks the right questions: “Who sets the rules? Man or God?” And we answer in agreement with him – GOD sets the rules. The LORD is sovereign over HIS creation. Either we believe in God, or we do not believe in God.
Our faith is not a blind faith. Our faith is rooted in biblical truth. Seek God’s truth, not man’s “truth.” The Bible allows us to make sense of the world. God’s Word is truth, a rock-solid foundation on which to view the world. Ken Ham is right when pointing out that evolution is a sandy foundation which collapses under the weight of mistruth. Ken Ham has stated, “Man’s word is imperfect when compared to God’s Word.”
Train your children in a biblical worldview. One way to engage in such teaching is to experience “Walking with Dinosaurs” with your child/ren.
And, in a winsome way, engage the world with a biblical worldview. Ken Ham and so many other Bible-believing Christians have rightly pointed out that we live in a Post-Modern world which does not generally know these truths or this biblical language. We should pray for opportunities to converse with people who assert non-biblical worldviews. We must obediently preach the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit will do the convincing. Restore the Word of God to its rightful place in the culture. Change people’s thinking from the foundation-up, starting with your own thinking and your own children. Help others to change their thinking, so their worldviews align with Biblical truth.
Such is one of the distinctives of my school – Des Moines Christian School – where we are attempting to equip students to “think, discern, and act through biblically-directed, Christ-centered education.”
I have no doubt that some readers will consider me to be a fanatical, Bible-thumping, fundamentalist, conservative Christian. May it be so! What greater compliment than to be persecuted by others as a Jesus freak, as one who loves the Word of God, who bases his fundamentals on biblical truth, and who interprets the world through such conservative ideas!
So be it! Amen!
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Ham, Ken. “Answers in Genesis.”
Tackett, Del. “The Truth Project.”