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General John MacArthur and “The Battle for the Beginning”

I was approached by a fellow member of Omaha Bible Church a few years ago, who was interested in what I believed to be the truth regarding the existence of all things. He asked if I believed that all that we see evolved or if it was created “ex nihlo” by God. I thought it to be an odd question. “Doesn’t every Christian believe that God created all things?” He shared a disturbing statistic, that there were a few amongst us who didn’t believe as we did, with some believing in evolution as the cause of all things. The question is why and what’s the harm in accommodating viewpoints concerning the existence of life.

John MacArthur seeks to answer this question in his book “The Battle for the Beginning.” Why the harsh title? Because the attack on God’s word begins with the very first verse, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”(Genesis 1:1) MacArthur masterfully brings the reader into the war room of each camp: the creationist and evolutionist. In the end, the battle is clear. If God exists and is sovereign over His creation. We have always accepted the fact that there are people who deny God as creator of the universe. This is a demonstration of the fall. Romans 1 declares that God has made himself known through His creation and the unrighteous know this, clearly enough that they will have no excuse in the judgment (Romans 1:18-20). The problem comes when those within the church, pastors or individual members, either adopt an evolutionist viewpoint or accommodate those who do in order to “get along.” This practice fuses science and religion together. Those who embrace such a world view, MacArthur writes, “… have in effect made science an authority over scripture.”

MacArthur, who is no stranger to controversy, takes great pains in his book to draft a battle plan that defines who the enemies of God are. At the same time, he provides a running commentary of the 6 days of creation. So who are the enemies? Ultimately, the enemy is Satan himself, who from the beginning has sought to cause mankind to doubt God and His word (Genesis 3:1; Jn 8:44). Because of the fall, this is not a complicated task for Satan to accomplish. John highlights two major groups of peoples who are on the front lines of this battle: the naturalist (who follows the view that every law and every force operating in the universe is natural rather than moral, spiritual, or supernatural) and the humanist. Both groups, because of their error, have appointed Satan as their captain. The church has allowed these belief systems to enter the camp. MacArthur rightly declares that “The church seems to be losing the will to defend what Scripture teaches about the origins of life.”

What I found most helpful in this book was its provision of a primer on the different arguments against creation and their beginnings. Men like Carl Sagan, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx and Adolph Hitler and so one, professed such a worldview (religion) that proved destructive to mankind, as it led to a sense of utter insignificance and despair. This view deemed man as nothing more than some form of higher animal, accountable to no God. We, who have been saved by God’s grace and have God’s word before us, are not too retreat behind our pews, thereby accommodating these viewpoints.

In conclusion, why retreat or surrender the argument of creation to the unregenerate? We are to reload with the truth of God’s word. As great as the universe is, God is infinitely greater, and the human race is nothing by comparison. God was pleased with His creation because it glorified Him. With all of the evidence that God has left us, it is absolutely irrational to ignore the reality of His existence which screams from His creation.