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Confusion abounds in a world bent on rejecting a loving Creator’s guidance on a life well lived. According to its author, Snubbing God shows how “biblical wisdom is opposed by a secular view that has at its heart a fundamental misunderstanding or outright disregard for God’s creation and how he has designed it.”
Some of the issues Kuligin explores as a result of rebuffing God include gay marriage, abortion, climate change, animal rights, and evolution. Though pointing out the weaknesses of a secular viewpoint, the author provides convincing arguments for why living the way the Creator designed it leads to a rich and satisfying life.
“Snubbing God is strong medicine,” writes sociologist David Ayers in his foreword. “The reader will find it challenging at points—morally and intellectually. Few will agree with everything in it. Yet Kuligin has no desire to only preach to a choir, though certainly encouraging the saints is part of his aim. He is trying to get us to pull up short, to think, to reconsider the marvelous truths, and righteous demands, of the Bible and of its Author upon us.”
Introduction: Defining the Conditions of the Debate
1. The Creation Order and the Scientific Enterprise: Part 1, Its Philosophical Underpinnings
2. The Creation Order and the Scientific Enterprise: Part 2, Its Practical Outworking
3. The Creation Order and Evolutionary Theory: A Theological Perspective
4. The Creation Order and Evolutionary Theory: A Scientific Perspective
5. The Creation Order and the Sanctity of Life
6. The Creation Order and the Environment
7. The Creation Order and Gender Equality
8. The Creation Order and Sexual Morality
9. The Creation Order and Homosexuality
10. The Creation Order and Marriage
Conclusion: A Word about Godly Wisdom
“Victor Kuligin clearly describes and valiantly defends biblical standards concerning marriage, homosexuality, transgenderism, and more. His chapter on the problems of Darwinism is particularly valuable at a time when macro-evolutionary thinking is making inroads even at Christian colleges.”
—Marvin Olasky, editor in chief, WORLD Magazine
“Finally, someone is saying what needs to be said in regards to the wholesale rejection of God’s wisdom, sovereignty, and holiness that saturates his creative order. In a clear, concise, and congenial manner, Kuligin has provided all that one needs to know in order to identify the great sin of our day, the consequences of this great sin, and the means to repent of this great sin of rejecting God and his wisdom. This is a must read for all believers who claim God as their Sovereign and the Bible as their rule and practice.”
—Gregg Metcalf, Teaching Pastor, North Kelso Baptist Church (Kelso, WA)
Over twenty five years ago, J. I. Packer seconded an observation that American Protestantism was “3,000 miles wide and half an inch deep.” Things have changed since then. It is now closer to an eighth of an inch.
We are in the grip of cultural, social, and political challenges that promise to transform the deepest, most foundational areas of existence in ways that will make us unrecognizable not only to our ancestors, but to ourselves. Modern people are fundamentally altering what it means to be human, trying to control our own evolution, to be our own gods, while erasing the one true God. No one seems to know how to hit the brakes.
In the midst of this we have the professing church, called to be salt, light, a prophetic voice, a city on a hill. Yet in terms of their knowledge of reality and the Bible, average evangelical Christians (and often the intellectuals and academics as well) don’t know the basic facts, logical categories, applicable Scripture texts, or doctrines needed to think about and respond to these many challenges. Even where that isn’t true, they often seem more anxious to endlessly accommodate the ancient Faith to modern sensibilities and political correctness than to stand for it. At times they seem embarrassed by orthodox faith. Sadly, many are selling their orthodoxy cheap, like Esau exchanging his birthright for lentil soup. And many who refuse to exchange orthodoxy for the latest fashions are still woefully reluctant to take public, costly stands for it. Across the board, we are reminded of the late Francis Schaeffer’s famous observation that the modern church has become addicted to personal peace and prosperity.
Thankfully, there are many notable exceptions to this grim prognosis, and I thank God for every one of them. Among these is Victor Kuligin, and among their contributions is this excellent, bracing, challenging book. Dr. Kuligin is a fine scholar with a fascinating resume that includes education and experience in engineering, business, and theology. His service of training pastors and leaders in South Africa for over twenty years has given him an outsider’s point of view, even as he has remained in touch with developments in the evangelical church in Europe and North America. His message and tone is conciliatory, compassionate, but uncompromising. As an old friend has often reminded me, faithful Christians should be motivated by love of God and their fellow man to maintain a stranglehold on the Word of God. And that is what this book encourages us to do.
Dr. Kuligin’s analysis is that we have been too quick to compromise a clear understanding of and fidelity to the Bible in order to accommodate science as a new arbiter of truth. This includes an uncritical adoption of evolutionary theory, often “baptized” or “corrected” by theistic add-ons and assumptions. We end up with a God markedly less than the God of the Bible. This God has allowed “design flaws” in creation because he didn’t really design it, at least not totally. We have a second Adam but not a real first, historical Adam who was created by God’s own hand. With this, much of what we rely on for the gospel in the New Testament has to be jerry-rigged rather than trusted. Can the genealogy of Jesus be traced to Shem, Noah, and Adam? No. Did God really author marriage and make a distinct man and woman from one flesh and then, through marriage, one flesh again? No. Did we all sin in Adam? No, maybe, kind of.
In this book we are reminded that it is naturalistic science, not historic Christianity, which makes the great leaps of faith—something from nothing, life from inanimate matter, complex thinking organisms capable of art, physics, engineering, and compassion from a long process of impersonal chance variations. When and how did so many Christians come to believe that this story makes more sense than David looking across the Milky Way on a clear night, in awe, and seeing the glory of an incredible God who designed every particle of it, and who also fearfully and wonderfully made him? Naturalism has led in our day to homosexual marriage, abortion on Holocaust levels, “mercy” killing, sex change operations, among numerous innovations that threaten to erase human dignity and personhood. More “progress” we can barely imagine awaits us in the near future. Should I trust the people and worldview that has given us things like that, while rejecting truths which gave us what is now the fleeting glory of Christian civilization? Dr. Kuligin is calling us back to rationality in the best sense, not asking us to substitute reason with some sort of blind leap in the dark. This book will help us do that.
Snubbing God is strong medicine. The reader will find it challenging at points—morally and intellectually. Few will agree with everything in it. Yet Dr. Kuligin has no desire to only preach to a choir, though certainly encouraging the saints is part of his aim. He is trying to get us to pull up short, to think, to reconsider the marvelous truths, and righteous demands, of the Bible and of its Author upon us.
The tides of change are getting rougher, the swells higher and closer together, the currents more treacherous. As we try to walk through this surf into the future, bringing our loved ones with us, how will we stay on our feet? How will we stand? By reading books like this that challenge us, and point us back to the One we have been snubbing.
—David J. Ayers, Dean, Alva J. Calderwood School of Arts and Letters; Professor of Sociology, Grove City College