The Apostle Peter tells us that Christians should be prepared “to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).
Dr. Jonathan Sarfati and the other scientists at Creation Ministries International are ready to supply ammunition for that defense when it comes to battling the materialistic and atheistic theory of evolution.
“Our ministry concentrates on equipping the Church,” says Jonathan. “That’s what most of our talks are to churches, because the Church is the Body of Christ appointed to spread His message and His Word.”
Jonathan and his wife, Sherry, moved to the U.S. a couple years ago when the Australia-based Creation Ministries International launched its new U.S. office in Atlanta. The Sarfatis and other CMI staffers turned to Samaritan Ministries for their health care needs. Jonathan says he’s grateful that Samaritan “seems a better value than insurance companies” and that it doesn’t fund procedures like abortion.
Jonathan’s academic accomplishments—he holds a doctorate in chemistry and also has graduate qualifications in physics—are put to use in a variety of ways as CMI works to equip the Church. He’s the author or co-author of several books, co-editor of Creation magazine, writes and reviews articles for the peer-reviewed Journal of Creation and writes for CMI’s website. But he’s also a capable Christian apologist, co-founding the Wellington Christian Apologetics Society in New Zealand, where he grew up. For Jonathan, defending the faith includes science, logic, and a thorough knowledge of Scripture.
“Christianity is not a blind faith,” he says. “It’s actually a logical faith, an intelligent faith.”
And it includes not just defense, but offense as well.
“In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul tells us to demolish any arguments against God, to take every thought captive and bring it to Christ,” Jonathan says. “So there’s the positive of defending the Christian faith, but also the negative of demolishing arguments arraigned against the Christian faith.”
Those defenses and offenses are complex when it comes to evolutionary theory, which has the backing of most of the establishment scientific community, despite the Christian origins of science and the gallery of great creationist scientists like Francis Bacon, Michael Faraday, Isaac Newton, and Blaise Pascal.
One of the reasons that it looks like the Church is playing catch-up on origins-of-life issues is that when Charles Darwin’s mid-19th century evolution claims began to gain popularity, Christians dropped the ball.
“A lot of the Church, instead of challenging the secular world, retreated into their pietistic church ghetto, retreated from the world, which meant that the atheists filled the vacuum,” Jonathan says. “Christians pulled out of science and the culture in general.”
Now the battle is being fought not just in the scientific arena, but in the Church itself, Jonathan says. Many of those Christians who didn’t retreat actually joined the Darwinian movement, striving to reconcile Genesis with Darwin.
“Peer pressure is a big thing,” Jonathan says. “Too many in the Church desire academic respectability. Therefore, they invent all these schemes that try to mix millions of years with evolution and impose it upon the Biblical picture, but it can’t be done. However, why should we crave the respect of people who think we are rearranged pond scum? Their position is ridiculous.”
Jonathan has fought back against this problem with books like Refuting Compromise: A Biblical and Scientific Refutation of “Progressive Creationism” (Billions of Years) As Popularized by Astronomer Hugh Ross.
“It’s an authority issue,” he says. “If we have the Bible as our final authority—and Jesus says Scripture can’t be broken (John 10:35)—you’ll never get millions of years or evolution from the Biblical text. It’s always imposed from outside the text, which is why these ideas never came in until secular geologists started to push the idea of an earth millions of years old.
“The other thing is that the Bible is quite consistent in saying that death and suffering are the result of sin, in particular of the sin of the first man, Adam. In Genesis 3, Romans 5 and 8, and 1 Corinthians 15, you have this whole sin-causing-death view. If evolution were true, you’d have this millions of years of death and suffering long before Adam sinned. You’d have to chop out so many parts of the Old and New Testaments.”
Genesis in particular is foundational for all Christian doctrine, Jonathan says, “and this is the book that’s mostly being attacked in the education system and in the media, so people need to know how to defend it.”
Creation Ministries’ go-to places for that are its online, searchable repository of more than 8,000 articles written by CMI’s scientists and apologists, and works like The Creation Answers Book (available in PDF form at this link).
“There should be something there for everyone of different levels,” Jonathan says. “Most of our articles are not written in technical language, but they’re all reviewed by people with technical expertise, with doctorates in their relevant areas.”
Yet sometimes even that isn’t necessary. Enter common sense.
“It’s certainly amazing even after a talk by one of our scientists, so many of the lay people get it because creationism is quite a common sense idea,” Jonathan says. “We show the evolutionary picture of a fish forming a fossil: It dies, slowly sinks to the bottom, is covered up over millions of years. Then we ask, ‘Who owns fish? What happens when your fish dies?’ Well, they float to the top, then rot or are eaten by other fish. These are arguments people can relate to.”
But being armed with more than 8,000 articles and dozens of books and videos doesn’t hurt either.
The following books by Dr. Sarfati are available through most booksellers:
Creation Answers Book (co-author)
15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History (co-author)