DIGGING UP THE TRUTH
A Missions Project For The Church
A QUIET EPIDEMIC IS HAPPENING
This three minute video of ex-believers' testimonies will give you a good grasp of the epidemic that is happening because of human evolutionary theory, particularly among younger Christians. Notice how human evolution is a common factor influencing people to abandon Jesus (as the girl in the second segment says, human evolutionary theory "made so much sense . . . Everything we do; how we act; how we look"). Indeed, there are many, many similar stories. This video could easily be three hours long.
"I used to be a Christian . . ."
Why would so many young people abandon Jesus about this issue? Hasn't it already been addressed by the church? Yes and no. It has been addressed, but not in the comprehensive way that is needed to equip parents, pastors, and laypeople to discuss it with confidence. Too much of the work that has been done is way too technical for non-experts, or it depends heavily on theological reasoning that is extremely unpersuasive to seekers. Worse, the scientific case for human evolution has been dramatically strengthened in the past ten years in light of genetic research and recent archaeological discoveries. This stronger case has not been adequately addressed, and it is wreaking havoc in our culture and in the church.
A Short Message From Jim
A MISSIONS PROJECT
In light of this confusion, and in light of the lack of rigorous work (and the lack of material to help laypeople) that has been done to address this issue, I am launching forth on a “missions project." In case you don’t already know, a missions project is a temporary endeavor that is designed to accomplish a specific objective (or a few specific objectives): perhaps build a hospital, translate the Bible into a particular language, construct an orphanage, rebuild a city’s infrastructure, etc. Missions projects are limited in duration, and very specific in scope. They typically last anywhere from a few months to a few years. But in each case the goal is to glorify God by meeting physical or spiritual needs. I firmly believe God is calling me to a missions project that will lay the foundation for an evangelistic ministry using apologetics and biblical truth to show the superiority of the Christian worldview.
THE GOALS OF THIS PROJECT ARE FIVEFOLD:
1. Publish one book to reach a wider audience: This is the part of the project that most excites me. The goal is to read a very WIDE audience with a book that explains these concepts in terms that any high schooler can understand without compromising the quality of the content. This book will also equip Christians to talk to others about human evolutionary theory, showing them how to concisely debunk it in conversations with their co-workers, family members, friends, etc. This would also be a book Christians could give to seekers who have questions about this topic.
2. Publish one book to reach academics and intellectuals: The goal is to publish an academic volume that demonstrates how seriously weak the evidence really is. Yes, it seems quite persuasive on the surface. But I am convinced that if you dig deeper, you see the whole theory is built on sand. Nonetheless, and this is the important part: the book needs to be so thoroughly researched and so rigorously argued, that it is impossible to simply dismiss it or ignore it.
3. Create A Website: This would serve as a clearinghouse for resources to better understand this topic. It would provide videos, audio lectures, perhaps a blog, and a place for people to ask their questions (and get them answered).
4. PhD Research: This level of research will grant me access to all kinds of reports, files, and field data that otherwise would be impossible to get my hands on. And having doctoral supervision will not only give my research a lot more credibility, it will enable me to get connections with major publishers who can get these books in thousands of stores. Moreover, acquiring a PhD will not only make it much more likely that my work will be published and taken seriously, it will also open doors for me to participate in debates, speaking engagements, and teaching appointments that would otherwise be impossible.
5. Launch A Ministry: Addressing this particular issue is only the beginning. I believe God is calling me to a ministry that will make the case for the Christian worldview in a way that is sympathetic to skeptics (as I'm very skeptically inclined myself) compelling to seekers and encouraging to Christians. I have multiple books, lectures, and seminars that are like a fire in my bones, pent up and waiting to be released. I'm asking you to partner with me in releasing them.
In summary, the ultimate goal of this project is to launch a ministry that will give honest seekers resources that deal with difficult subjects honestly with crystal clear clarity; to foment cultural change among the intellectual elites of our culture; and to equip parents, pastors, and laypeople to converse confidently about human evolutionary theory and many other topics (without compromising a biblical worldview).
THE NITTY GRITTY
Like any missions project, I will need to support my family while launching this work. Of course, my wife or I (or both) may have to work part-time during this process. However, there is absolutely no way that this project can be done adequately (particularly achieving the first objective) if I am working a regular job full-time while trying to do this research. In fact, if I am fully-funded, I will be able to complete this project in three and a half years. If I am required to work part-time then my goal is to have it accomplished in six and a half years. These are hard deadlines, as the schools that I am applying to have these requirements for research projects.
Evolution And Atheism
Do you suspect that it's an exaggeration to say that evolution often leads to atheism? Listen to the testimony of Richard Dawkins, Will Provine, and P.Z. Myers. (From "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed")
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
"What about Answers in Genesis and other creation ministries? Aren't they already doing this?"
The folks at Answers in Genesis (and other creation-based ministries) have done really good work and greatly inspired me in many ways. Why should I think I'm offering anything different or new?
There are two big differences between the project I'm proposing and the (excellent) work they've done:
1. My books will be a theologically neutral refutation of human evolutionary theory. (That is, refuting human evolution on purely scientific and logical grounds.) Skeptics and seekers typically have a strong aversion to books that depend on theology for their arguments. They feel these books are biased and simply ignore them. However, I have seen a lot of skeptics suddenly open up to the Bible when they see that the scientific case for human evolution is seriously over-hyped.
2. No one (not even Answers in Genesis) has produced a book that comprehensively deals with Human Evolutionary Theory (discussing all of the separate lines of evidence). Among all of their publications there isn't a single publication in which they address all of the evidence (fossil, behavioral, biochemical, genetic, etc.). To be sure, the topic is briefly addressed with a chapter here or there in various books, but it isn't discussed comprehensively anywhere. Indeed, the only book that is dedicated to the topic (Bones of Contention, by Marvin Lubenow) focuses only on the fossil evidence. It's a great book (though it is outdated now). But it does not even attempt to address the genetic evidence, biochemical evidence, evolutionary psychology, vestigial features, etc.
No one has published a book that explains all of the evidence for and against human evolution. I have had several conversations with Paul Nelson (a well-known author on creation and evolution) about the work I want to do. He told me that there is a desperate need for such a book to be published. He knows the literature exhaustively and he said no one has done this yet, but it needs to be done as soon as possible. In fact, he has committed to give me all of the academic guidance I need for this project since he thinks it is so necessary. The reason why such a book would be so powerful is the fact nothing refutes human evolutionary theory like an honest evaluation of its evidence. It looks so appallingly weak when it is finally exposed to the light.
Besides this, even if my project totally overlapped with the work of Answers in Genesis (which it doesn't) more soldiers are obviously needed in the fight. We are losing way too many young believers to Satanic lies. And I believe God is calling me to enlist in this fight.
"Jim, why should I believe God is calling you to this work?"
I think the best way for us to figure out what God is calling us to do is to find where our passions and gifts intersect with the world's needs. It is clear to me that there is a severe need for this subject to be addressed in a way that is intellectually honest, rigorous, and faithful to a biblical worldview yet still accessible to a layperson. Both the scholarly world and the larger public need to be addressed. I have had long conversations with skeptics who finally admit that the evidence for animal evolution is quite weak. "However," they confidently say, "the evidence for human evolution is so powerful that I think it is irrefutable. That evidence is why I still believe in evolution." So far, only a handful of credible books by Christian scholars have addressed this issue, but they are generally lacking in clarity or rhetorical force (or both). I want to change that, and I am extremely passionate about doing so (because of the confusion that this subject is causing). Moreover, I believe I have the gifts necessary to produce material that displays intellectual integrity and persuasive power.
"Have you really exhausted all of your other options? Why can't you just work full-time?"
The goal of this project is to produce material that is so well-argued and so well-researched that it will be very difficult to ignore, resulting in a ministry that addresses other topics as well. That will be very hard to do while working full-time. I would either have to neglect my family, my relationship with God, my health, or produce low quality work. None of those are options for me.
"What about taking out a loan?"
Educational loans are fine for students who are in their late teens, twenties, or even thirties. However, that is not my situation. To take out a large loan at my age (I'm in my 40's) would put my family into a financial situation that I think is very imprudent. I simply don't have the lifespan left to pay off a loan like that.
Thanks again for visiting my site. It would be a huge privilege to have you supporting us in this work. Please prayerfully consider becoming a monthly donor to this project.