By Gary Bates
Mechanical Engineer Chad Duty has no problem in ascribing all the brilliance of nature’s design to a Creator God. But it wasn’t always that way.
Growing up in rural Virginia, USA, Chad Duty was not overtly confronted by evolutionary teaching. But during his higher education at university it infected several subjects. And looking back, he realizes how subtle the indoctrination was.
"It's everywhere. The idea of slow gradual processes—fish to man, etc. Go to a natural history museum—the icons of evolution are endemic. It's easy to believe this stuff as science when you are never exposed to any alternative views," Chad admits.
Thus, Chad allowed room for the idea that the God he made a commitment to as a young man may have used evolution to create mankind (theistic evolution).
Chad did not grow up in a strong Christian home, however, he recalls that his parents read him Bible stories. This helped lay a foundation, and when Chad became a Boy Scout he found that one of their precepts was reverence to God.
"I noticed I wasn't reverent and it troubled me," Chad said. So, he accepted an invitation from a friend to attend Vacation Bible School (VBS), which is an entrenched summer tradition in the conservative 'South' of the US. Unlike the Bible stories he'd heard at home, here Scripture was laid out in the context of the big picture of the Gospel. The concepts of sin, repentance and salvation hit home, hard.
A few years later, at that same friend's church, Chad accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and at age 18, he was baptized in water as an outward sign of his inward commitment to God.
Later, the idea of theistic evolution created an internal conflict for Chad. He believed that God was real and his faith was correct, but he also believed that evolution was fact.
Beliefs about where we come from are the foundation for everything"Looking back, I was never really sure how both worlds fit together. So, I kind of kept them separate. I just hoped and believed that our knowledge was perhaps limited and that one day all would be revealed," he shares.
And, for Chad, it was.
A little bit of information can make a big difference
Creation Ministries International played a large part in Chad's conversion to biblical creation. He attended a men's conference at a large church in Atlanta where this author had been given an opportunity to make a short presentation.
Chad recalls the moment. "It was when I saw an illustration of Adam and Eve on a pile of bones that supposedly represented millions of years of death and suffering. The point was made, 'How could God have called this all good?' I could immediately see the problem."
Sometime later he spoke to a CMI representative manning a booth at a homeschooling conference. "I still had a lingering issue with the length of the days in Genesis and suggested that it was perhaps figurative. The representative showed me the scriptural disharmony with that theory, and the problems it causes for the rest of Scripture.* They encouraged me to take the Bible at face value. As I gradually learned to see the facts through a biblical lens, the scales started falling away."
Chad now fully believes the account of Creation in the first book of the Bible, Genesis.
Stepping up to the plate
He adds, "Of course, one hears the creation story in children's Sunday School, but we are rarely taught why it is important to the Gospel." So Chad and his wife Angel have become more active in helping others make this connection. They started teaching adult Sunday School for young married couples in their church. He said that the questions about creation come thick and fast, and the information they have shared has "blown minds".
The problem that Christians are often not able to defend what they believe is not lost on the Dutys, and it is a reason why they decided to homeschool their children. Chad remarked, "My wife was very career-driven. You don't work for a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering without being that way. However, Angel has laid that aside to train our children" (Proverbs 22:6).
It's a big sacrifice and Chad understands that not everyone is able to do this, but he agrees with CMI that regardless of where children are educated, the parents need to spend a little extra time teaching young ones how to think critically in this foundational area of origins.
Chad says it is now interesting to overhear their children's comments with friends—how they can actually defend their faith at a young age. Chad commented that when one of his young sons sees dinosaurs presented within an evolutionary framework of millions of years, he pipes up, "Daddy, they don't really know, do they?"
In conclusion, Chad reinforces how much he's come to understand the importance of the creation issue. "Destroy Genesis and it's like a house of cards. Beliefs about where we come from are the foundation for everything we view in life." ?
*The history of Genesis is integral to the gospel. If there was no literal Adam and Eve in a literal garden with a literal tree and a literal deceiver, and there wasn't a literal Fall—then Jesus is literally irrelevant. Romans 5:17 says "For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!"