- It matters what we believe about human origins.
This isn’t just about science or philosophy—it’s also about justice.
That’s because beliefs about human origins affect beliefs about human meaning. How we answer the question “Where did we come from?” shapes how we answer the question “What does it mean to be human?”
This is a worldview question. Our answer depends on the deeper beliefs that we use to interpret the world around us. By shaping our beliefs about human meaning, our beliefs about human origins influence our views, approaches and responses to everything that has to do with humanity, including human history, society, technology, families, religion, morals, justice, ethics and rights.
Ultimately, this means that beliefs about human origins have major implications for society, the church, and Christian ministry. These explain why mainstream human origins interpretations are documented to have shaped the many social issues which today compel Christians to counter the currents of culture.
- It matters what we teach about human origins.
The view that humans are divinely-created image-bearers of God is foundational to Christianity. In contrast, the view that humans are the result of unguided natural processes is foundational to humanism—so much so, this view is part of the American Humanist Society’s Third Humanist Manifesto.
This Secular Humanist worldview dominates education—and therefore culture, with over 68 national and international academies pledging to teach evolutionary human origins. 1 To adopt a naturalistic explanation of human origins is to make a statement about the nature of humanity: we are not created beings. This statement affects every field of study that deals with humanity, including medicine, anthropology, psychology, communications, history, politics, ethics, religion and philosophy. Students around the world can therefore expect to encounter such explanations for humans and their behaviour not only in “hard sciences” like biology, but also social sciences and humanities.
These students represent the futures of their societies—societies that will make decisions according to their predominant worldviews. Therefore, raising each generation on exclusively naturalistic interpretations for humanity impacts the future states of worldwide cultures and churches.
- That’s why building foundations matters.
Christians need spiritual, interpersonal and intellectual foundations to respectfully navigate secular classes and cultures without compromising a biblical worldview. Here’s how it works:
- Spiritual foundations involve personally knowing God and His word. Ways to build these foundations include frequently and consistently praying, worshiping, studying scripture, and enjoying a vibrant walk with God in everyday life.
- Intellectual foundations involve two components: apologetics knowledge and critical thinking skills. Apologetics is about logically defending the Christian worldview, and knowing why it makes rational sense. Having access to apologetics resources, therefore, helps students answer specific questions they may encounter in their personal studies or interpersonal interactions. Critical thinking skills, meanwhile, are tools that help students logically process any information that they encounter
- Interpersonal foundations involve being discipled within strong Christian mentorships, families and communities, reflecting the fact that humans are socially-embedded and interact within multiple layers of social influence. These levels range from family and friends, to churches and schools, to communities and cultures. That’s why equipping Christians to navigate secular classes and cultures requires not only a focus on the individuals themselves, but also on the families, churches and spiritual communities which support them.
- Inter-Academy Panel. 2006. Inter-Academy Panel (IAP) statement on the teaching of evolution. Inter-Academy Panel. http://www.interacademies.org/13901/IAP-