The Bible tells us that God created Adam, but science says that we descend from apes. What is true?
Image of God
Genesis 1 tells us that God is the Creator of the universe, including mankind. He created man and woman in his own image (Genesis 1:27) and this is what sets man apart from animals. Being created in the image of God means that mankind resembles God in certain ways. Such as the ability to reason, to make moral choices, the use of language and being creative. It also means that they are the representatives of God to have authority over creation. “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:28).
A special relationship
What makes men and women really stand out from animals is the ability to have a relationship with their Maker. God asked from Adam and Eve to obey Him, by not eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16,17). The animals did not receive such a command to obey God, because they did and do not have a relationship with Him the way humans do. When Adam and Eve stumbled and sinned, their relationship with God was affected and the whole of creation too. From which we can clearly see how important the relationship between man and God has been from the very beginning (Genesis 3:16-19). It took the sacrificial death of God’s only Son to reconcile mankind to himself, (John 3:16; Romans 5:10), and not only mankind but the whole of creation (Colossians 1:20).
God is creator, Christ is the center
The fact that God is the Creator of everything, makes mankind accountable to Him (Romans 3:19). Evolutionism that does not take God as Creator into account, denies this. Man is answerable to no one for his deeds but to himself. It puts man at the center of everything, with no place in his heart for a higher authority. This is in stark contrast to the message of the Bible which firmly places Christ in the center. “All things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16). When man believes that he has just come to be in existence through endless steps of evolution, he thinks he can do with his life whatever he wants. The deep reverence for human life as bearing the image of God will be undermined. Ultimately, the reverence for all created life will crumble under the weight of the assumption that it is not created life, but evolved life.
Many people, also Christians, believe science has proven evolution. There is certainly evidence for evolution on a certain scale. Some Christians even see a place for evolution leading up to human beings. However, we should never forget that the distinction between ape and man is not a gradual one, but a fundamental one. A special creative act of God was needed to create the first humans, Adam and Eve, in his image. How much God used evolution before that to create the different species, is an open question that is still much discussed among Christians. Whatever our position on that is, we all confess with the church of all ages: We believe in God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth.