Shuck and Jive

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Evolution Vs. Creation Heats Up in Elizabethton

I found this is in today's Elizabethton Star. My colleague down the street is hosting a "Creation Sunday" in response to our Evolution Weekend. Two weeks ago Greg Miller wrote a nice article about our Evolution Weekend and now appropriately, gives my colleague equal time.

The article about Evolution weekend was posted on Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow's Thank God for Evolution site. First Pres and Holston Valley UU are excited to welcome Dowd and Barlow September 7th through 9th.

On other fronts, I accepted an invitation to a public debate over Evolution and Creation with another colleague, Wesley Simons. It looks like we will have two nights either at a neutral setting or one at our congregation and another at his. I will let you know about those details.

Here is the article in today's Star:

Harvest Baptist Church sets 'Creation Sunday'

Harvest Baptist Church, 309 E. F St., Elizabethton, will host "Creation Sunday" on March 2, according to Pastor Dale Greenwell.

Greenwell says he decided to have the special day after another local church, First Presbyterian Church, recently hosted "Evolution Weekend."

According to Greenwell, "Creation Sunday" is a "rebuttal" against "Evolution Weekend." Greenwell says "Creation Sunday" will "give credit to the Scriptures...We need to give credit to the Word of God where it belongs."

Greenwell continued, "I'll have all the teachers teaching on creation, and I will be preaching on it. The children's church is going to have a field trip on it."

Greenwell hopes to make those at Harvest Baptist Church "more aware of the fact that evolution is out there being taught and pushed without any proven facts about it. They need to realize that no matter how much it is pushed on them, they need to believe God's Word first and always."

Greenwell hopes that other local churches will begin having their own "Creation Sunday." "It would be good if other churches got on board and said, 'We want to have 'Creation Sunday,' too," he said.

The biggest argument against evolution, Greenwell observes, is design. "Of course, the world is a designed thing," he said. "Man's body is a designed thing. It works in order. To say that order came from disorder is ridiculous. It's like a tornado going through a junkyard and assembling a car. It's not going to happen.

"There is no intelligence involved in evolution. There is no reason for the world or man to be evolved. There is no design to it, and there is no intelligence behind it. There has to be a creator, and there has to be a creator who wants to know man, and if He wants to know man, He wants to give His Word to them. It is only logical to believe that if God wants to create man, He is going to speak to him, and He has spoken to us through His Word. His Word is infallible and is preserved."

The Bible "speaks of everything being involved in creation," Greenwell said. "We need to just trust what the Bible says, because it proves to be true every time in the sense that man has tried to disprove the Bible many times. He has found that the more he tries to disprove it, the more he realizes it is true.

"If you look out at nature, you see that nature shouts a creator because of the intricate design of it and the harmony of things. It all works together to make one day."

Greenwell observes that if the earth were taken off its axis by just a few feet, "the problems with the earth would be astronomical. Man couldn't live on this Earth if it was taken off just a little ways. He would freeze to death or burn up. It would be chaos."

According to Greenwell, people "believe in evolution because they don't want to admit to their sin. To say there is a God and the Scripture is true shows man that man is sinful, and when man does not want to listen to God and adhere to God's laws, then he has to have an excuse not to. So he says, 'There is not a God, and if there's not a God, I have to come up with a reason why we're here and the reason why we're here is because of evolution.' It takes away their responsibility of sin. It takes away their responsibility of doing anything they want to do, basically."

Greenwell says when he first heard about the theory of evolution, he was "appalled" at the concept. "It goes so much against the Scripture," he remarked.

The Church is impacted by the teaching of evolution, according to Greenwell, by "continually discrediting" the Word of God. "You get to the point where the church is just a social club," he said. "The Word of God is what the Church is built around. Jesus Christ is the founder, the cornerstone of the Church. Without putting complete trust in Him and in the Bible, then a church is no longer a church. It's just a place for people to go and meet together. It destroys the Church."

The teaching of evolution also has an impact on the community, according to Greenwell. "A common thing now," he said, "is couples living together. The Scripture still condemns that and always will. Homosexuality gets more obvious and common. Kids are getting in trouble at a younger age with the law. All those things play into it, because there is no God in the evolution scheme. It makes for a worse community for that reason."

In serving as a pastor in Elizabethton for 17 years, Greenwell says he has noticed an increase in the acceptance of evolution, and that television promotes that acceptance. "You see it on TV all the time," he said. "TV presents it as absolute fact, and there is no absolute fact about evolution. They cannot give you an absolute fact."

Faith is required to believe in evolution, according to Greenwell. "It takes more faith in my thinking to believe in evolution, because there's just not any proof to it," he stated.

He continued, "It's ridiculous to think that something came from nothing without a creator. To bring order out of disorder or chaos makes no sense."

Greenwell says he believes that the majority of Americans still believe in creation as taught in the Bible. "I don't meet that many people who say, 'Yes, I believe completely in evolution.' They believe in at least a form of creation."

The church operates a Christian school, Harvest Baptist Christian School, which Greenwell says tells students about creation, as well as the theory of evolution. A Biblical viewpoint is used in the teaching of subjects.

In April, the Christian school operated by the church will be taking their students to the Creation Museum.

For more information, call 543-3303.


  1. "It's ridiculous to think that something came from nothing without a creator. To bring order out of disorder or chaos makes no sense."

    I am no theologian, but this man is clearly confused.

    Which of course, could argue against evolution!

    Look at what you started John Shuck!

    Good for you!

  2. Well,

    It looks like you've stirred a hornet's nest,John. It's good and bad, I guess.

    This Baptist minister isn't really addressing theistic evolution at all, though, is he??

    But, I wonder what happens in these churches to the folks who just don't fit the prevailing norm either way? Are they going to feel excluded and marginalized, ridiculed?

    You know, how do we handle these extreme difference of opinion among Christian believers without compromising our own convictions, and yet at the sametime not seeming to be unkind or disrespectful when we disagree. (Sometimes no easy task.)

    I mean some folks can get downright mean with each other. I can't think this is too righteous or reflects the love of Christ.

  3. I haven't stirred up a hornet's nest. Copernicus maybe or Charles Darwin stirred it up.

    No need to get mean. He can do Creation Sunday. We'll do Evolution Sunday.

  4. In April, the Christian school operated by the church will be taking their students to the Creation Museum.

    There is an opportunity here to discuss the problems with 6-day literal creationism and to openly discuss the questions evolution has failed to answer. And there is still time to stop them from going to the Creation Museum....

  5. Any field trips for us John? Doesn't seem fair that they get a field trip and we don't. Maybe we can tour as our own "School House Rock" company and perform the EVOLUTION REVOLUTION around the country. On a separate note, if you send Greenwell an invitation to CCP, I'll pay his conference fee. I think he may benefit from it....that is, if he comes with an open mind....

  6. It's guys like him that make me appreciate ministers like you John. Guys like him also make me glad I'm an atheist now as well.

  7. ((Dr. Monkey)) I could name alot of "bad egg," atheists, too.

    But, I"m a Christian because I came to believe the gospel, and the reality of Jesus Christ, what He means in my life.

    Why allow the short-comings, even the sin and hypocrisy of others to keep us from the Lord?

  8. It's ridiculous to think that something came from nothing without a creator.

    And that has what, exactly, to do with the truth of evolution?

  9. I want to know who says they live together because of evolution. Or when kids get in trouble, how many of them say it's because of evolution.

    **To say that order came from disorder is ridiculous. It's like a tornado going through a junkyard and assembling a car.**

    Yes, because that's exactly how biologists describe evolution.

    **If you look out at nature, you see that nature shouts a creator because of the intricate design of it and the harmony of things.**

    You know, I've never actually found nature to be all that harmonious. Don't trees actually try and wipe out other trees, in order to get the maximum amount of sunlight/nutrients?

  10. You may already know about this, John, but TalkOrigins is an excellent source for real facts and real science and real religion supporting biological science and evolution. As a non-scientist it might not hurt you to brush up on evolutionary science (there are plenty of transitional fossils) and other bit of science (carbon dating and the second law of thermodynamics) before your debate.

  11. Thanks Elizabeth for the TalkOrigins link. That site looks good!

    Scott- We did go on a field trip to the ETSU Fossil Site at Gray! You will love it!

  12. Hey Grace how about you write blog or add an email address to your profile so I can address your childish and simplistic comments to me with out sullying John's blog.

  13. I will say that I think Grace is on the right track as far as theology goes. This guy is so wrapped up in using the Bible as a science textbook that he's missing its real purpose.

    As a good Barth-lovin, Calvin-quotin, neo-orthodox Presbyterian, I am bothered by the way Pastor Greenwell treats the Word of God (read: King James Bible) in his comments.

    The Bible is not a biology textbook. It is not a history textbook (it's sketchy at best on the details). There are those who thinks that the Bible speaks to things it does not. You will not find anything about aerodynamics in the Bible, and that was actually an argument against Da Vinci's early experiments with aviation.

    What Scripture truly is (the way I see it anyway) is the unique and best window we have (revelation, if you will) to God in Christ. To strip it of this meaning and instead transform the Bible (pick your own list of books and translations thereof) into a magical self-help book is IMO idolatry.

  14. ridiculous to think that mythology supersedes science. if one denies the existence of all the evidence proving evolution than one should take penicillin for serious infections as obviously b acteria don not evolve...Intelligence is a human attribute and to assign it to a universal force is not only arrogant but borders on blasphemy.

  15. Dear Pastor Shuck,

    Thank you for allowing me to ask you this question:

    When you read the Word of God in Genesis to your congregation on Sunday, do you read "God created the heavens and the earth" or do you simply explain something else? I am not being smart, but am just trying to understand how you interpret the Scripture on this point. Thanks.

    Brother Michael Aprile

  16. Hey Michael,

    Questions of biblical interpretation abound. You might be interested in my blog Bible and Jive for ways I explore the Bible's historical setting, the type of literature and so forth.

    Thanks for visiting!