Can you guess the location of the city pictured on the right of this column? Let me give you a hint. In the country where this city is the capital, “Exactly zero percent of respondents in a recent survey said they believe that God created the Earth.”
The quote is from a disturbing article about a recent assessment of the spiritual beliefs in the country of… wait for it… Iceland. According to this article, not a single person under the age of 34 in the entire (albeit small) nation believes that “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Granted, the Bible doesn’t tell us by what method God created the universe. But is unequivocally says that God did it. The God of the Bible is the Creator God. There are many views that hold the teaching of science and Scripture in thoughtful accord. We can speak of intelligent design, theistic evolution, the First Cause of the Big Bang, and there are others. But the Icelanders will have none of it.
This is a disturbing trend that makes a watered down Christianity essentially a useless appendage of a secular worldview. In other words, belief in God is limited to what a naturalistic and materialistic worldview will allow. So many Icelanders actually make these two assertions:
1. I am a Christian.
2. I do not believe in a Creator God.
This boggles the mind. To whom do these “believers” give thanks when they see the beauties and wonders of what many still affirm to be God’s creation?
Is this the future in other western societies? It seems like the Icelanders are growing in their secularism and diminishing in their spirituality, as the graph makes clear.
Solveig Anna Boasdottir, a professor at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Iceland, says this: “Theories of science are broadly accepted among both young and old. That does not necessarily affect people’s faith in God.” Regarding the church leaders’ reaction to this survey, she intoned, “As far as I have seen they are [neither] surprised nor [shocked by] the results. They see no necessary opposition between believing in God and accepting scientific theories on creation of the world.”
I’m sure many in the United States would agree. But there is a deeper issue here. One can accept some scientific theories about creation without accepting the non-scientific philosophy that often accompanies them. Furthermore, when one abandons the Biblical teaching about God, that spiritual emptiness will be filled by something else.
The God of the Bible is not an optional accessory to an essentially secular philosophy. He is the everlasting Lord, who is worthy of our worship and total allegiance.
Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing… Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
– Isaiah 40:26, 28 (NLT)
That is a message for Iceland. And for America! And for the ends of the earth!