Bryan Fischer
New NIH director is evangelical but not controversial -- why?
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By Bryan Fischer
August 17, 2009

The new director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, is a self-proclaimed evangelical Christian who wrote a best-selling book in 2006 called "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief" and believes in the divinity of Jesus.

His nomination to the post of the nation's chief medical scientist should have raised a firestorm of criticism from secular fundamentalists, but didn't. Why?

Simple. He believes in God but not in the Bible.

You can believe in God all you want and you'll get a pass from the PC crowd as long as you believe in evolution. And Dr. Collins, in stark contrast to the biblical account of origins, believes in evolution. He believes in the untenable position that evolution traces the pattern by which God brought things into being.

But this is an absurd position to take. There is simply no way to reconcile the first three chapters of Genesis and Darwin. The length of time is all wrong (billions of years in evolution, six days in the Bible), the process is all wrong (evolution teaches life developed in tiny little incremental steps, the Bible teaches that new life forms appeared suddenly and fully formed), and the view of man is utterly wrong (in evolution, man is just a trousered ape, different from animals in degree but not in kind, while in the Bible man is sui generis, a unique being, unlike the members of the animal kingdom, created in the very image of God.)

If Dr. Collins took any part of the biblical record on origins seriously, as any self-proclaimed evangelical should, controversy over his nomination would have been front-page news for weeks. But he doesn't take the biblical record seriously, and so he represents no threat to the forces of Darwinian evolution. He's a member of the club, in other words, and too tame to be anything but a household pet in the upper echelons of scientific society.

While he believes in the divinity of Jesus, it's hard to understand why, and his thinking is schizophrenic on this point. For the same Bible that teaches him that Jesus is God is the same Bible that teaches him that God created the universe and everything in it in six days. On what rational basis does he believe one and not the other?

The apostle Paul, who affirmed without ambiguity the divinity of Jesus, also affirmed that every passage of Scripture is breathed out by God and therefore by implication is without error. For an evangelical such as Dr. Collins claims to be, this means he should believe that God breathed out Genesis 1-3. Does he believe then that God was simply in error about the whole six days thing? Does he believe, contrary to the teaching of the apostle, that God is not responsible for Genesis 1-3? If so, why then does he cavalierly dismiss one part of Paul's teaching but cling to other parts? How does he know that Paul was not as mistaken about salvation as he evidently was about origins?

And if Dr. Collins is competent to decide which parts of the Bible to believe and which to dismiss, then he and not God has become theologian in chief. Unfortunately, Dr. Collins has done great damage to the cause of evangelicalism because, by example, he teaches us that the Bible is like a buffet of belief statements, some of which we may put on our plate and others of which we may ignore.

But if "all Scripture is God-breathed" and "profitable for teaching," then that is not an option that is open to us. It would be far more honest of Dr. Collins to describe himself as a cafeteria Christian than an evangelical Christian. For him not to do so is confusing, deceptive, and destructive to the faith.

© Bryan Fischer

 

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