2006 AD to the Present: Theistic evolution obtains a strong voice in the evangelical church.

This part of the creation discussion began in 2006 and is continuing.   The year 2006 shaped the present creation discussion with events that led to the establishment of the BioLogos Foundation.

Theistic evolution (termed “Evolutionary Creation” by BioLogos) has had had a voice in the evangelical church since the establishment of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) in the 1940’s; it is nothing new.

What is new is agenda, methods and finances of those who are promoting theistic evolution in the evangelical church.  This promotion of theistic evolution appears to be directed largely the efforts of the Templeton Foundation and the BioLogos Foundation.

Timeline:

2006 – The Language of God; a Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief was published.  The author is Dr. Francis S. Collins (b. 1950).  Dr. Collins serves as director for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  He served as director of the National Human Genome Institute (NHGRI).  The book sparks an interest in theistic evolution. (Wikipedia)

2006 – The Biblical Case for an Old Earth was published.  The book presents a Day-Age view of creation.  The author is Dr. David W. Snoke, who hold is doctorate in physics and is a professor at the University of Pittsburg.  The book presents a Day-Age view of creation.

2007 – The BioLogos Foundation was established.  Dr. Francis Collins served as the director of the organization until he resigned to become the director of NIH.

2008 – Timothy (Tim) J. Keller (b. 1950), Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in New York City writes The Reason for God.  This book made it to #7 in non-fiction on the New York Times bestsellers list.  In his book, Keller supports theistic evolution.  Keller is associated with the BioLogos website.

2009 – The BioLogos website is established.  The purpose of the BioLogos Foundation is stated on the first page of their website (excerpted from www.biologos.org as follows:

        “BioLogos invites the church and the world to see the harmony between science and  biblical faith as we present an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation. “

 2009 – When Faith and Science Collide – A Biblical Approach to Evaluating Evolution and the Age of the Earth was published.  The book contains a theistic evolution view of creation.  The author is Dr. Greg R. Davidson, who hold is doctorate in hydrogeology and is the department chair of the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering at the University of Mississippi. Dr. Davidson is a member of a PCA church and is a speaker for Solid Rock Lectures, a theistic evolution ministry.

2011 – Dr. C. John “Jack” Collins authors a book titled Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?: Who They Were and Why You Should Care.  “Jack” Collins is a professor at Covenant Theological Seminary (PCA) and a participant at BioLogos events. The following was excerpted from Wikipedia on 5/21/16:

“Collins’ most recent book is Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?: Who They Were and Why You Should Care (Crossway, 2011), in which he highlights the importance to Christian theology of believing that the Fall of man was a historical event, and explores whether such a belief can be compatible with a Darwinian view of human origins. Collins has been a prominent voice in recent discussion among evangelicals on this topic.”

2011 – The New York Presbytery of the PCA hosts a symposium titled “Conversations Surrounding the Historicity of Adam.” Presenters included Dr. C. John “Jack” Collins and Dr. Peter Enns.  (From the Aquila Report 10/30/11)

2012 – The BioLogos Foundation establishes a grant program to promote theistic evolution.  The program is described on the on their website (portions excerpted from www.biologs.org/about-us/our-history as follows:

“In 2012 BioLogos established a new competitive granting program called Evolution and Christian Faith. With funding from the John Templeton Foundation, more than $3.6 million in grants was awarded to over three dozen individuals and teams from sixteen states and six different countries. Their projects aim to address theological and philosophical concerns commonly voiced by Christians about evolutionary creation in a way that is relevant to the church. Over three years, they plan to generate hundreds of resources, including videos, websites, articles, teaching materials, books, and seminars. Their work is already impacting the lives of students, the ministry of pastors, and the scholarly debates of academia.”

2012 – Solid Rock Lectures, a theistic evolution ministry, presents at lecture at the 2012 PCA General Convention titled “The PCA Creation Study Committee a Dozen Years Later: What does science say now? “

2014 – Dr. Charles L. Irons publishes a series of blogs titled “Adam and Evolution” on his website www.upper-register.com the series is interesting and informative.  Irons provides seven options and states that there could be more.  The options include the Young Earth Creationism view (which we would term the Literal View), the Old Earth Creationism view, and five (5) Evolutionary Creationism views.  The blogs list differences of opinion within the Evolutionary Creationism community.   Irons then attempts to establish which evolutionary creation views of Adam are Biblically acceptable.

2014 – The Christian magazine, World, published an article on BioLogos and its efforts to influence the church into accepting theistic evolution.  The following quotations describe the relationship between the Templeton Foundation and BioLogos.  They also describe the world view and objectives of the Templeton Foundation.

The following is a quote from the www.evolution news.org that was excerpted on 5/22/16:

“Founded by Francis Collins, BioLogos has a strong relationship with the Templeton Foundation, a partnership of which I think it’s fair to say that World is skeptical:

Templeton grants often reflect the eclectic theology of its founder, John Templeton, who tried to meld aspects of Christianity with Eastern religions. An attendee at one Templeton seminar on evolution, Michael Brooks, described in New Scientist “the Templeton version of religion. A stripped-down, vague and woolly notion that there is something ‘other’ out there.”

2015 – The Genesis Account – A Theological, Historical and Scientific Commentary on IMG_0082Genesis 1-11 (Genesis Account) was published.  The author is Dr. Jonathan Sarfati (b. 1964).  Dr. Sarfati is a Creation Ministries International (CMI) staff person and the author several creationist books.  The Genesis Account a plain reading of Genesis 1-11 and is based on the literal view of Scripture.  Comments on the science related elements of the creation discussion are developed as they are introduced by the creation narrative.

2015 – The Templeton Religion Trust awards a $3.4 million grant to the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Henry Center) in 2015 for a project called Evangelical Theology and the Doctrine of Creation (known in short as the “Creation Project”).  The Creation Project is described as:

“….a three-year, six-program initiative intended to bring greater clarity, openness, and understanding about the doctrine of creation within the evangelical theological community in light of modern scientific discovery. In addition to providing wider guidance to the evangelical public, the project is also intended to stimulate interdisciplinary scholarship and engagement on the controversial issues at the intersection of Scripture, theology, and scientific discovery.” 

Information and quotation were excerpted ON 5/4/16 from: www.covenantseminary.edu/the-thistle/Collins-research-fellowship

2016 – Covenant Seminary (a PCA Seminary located in St. Louis, Mo.) congratulated Dr. C. John “Jack” Collins, professor of Old Testament at Covenant Seminary, for his selection to be one of six recipients for the inaugural Henry Resident Fellowship program, The Creation Project, at the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  The fellowship is described as a scholar-in-residence program designed to support and stimulate evangelical scholarship that examines various biblical and theological elements in the doctrine of creation and their interaction with scientific developments.  Dr. Collins contribution is described as:

“During the first year, the group will be focusing on the topic of “Reading Genesis in an Age of Science.” Dr. Collins’s particular focus will be on “Genesis 1–11: Poetry, History, Science, Truth.”

Information and quotation were excerpted ON 5/4/16 from: www.covenantseminary.edu/the-thistle/Collins-research-fellowship

Summary of the Creation Discussion from 2006 to the Present:

The year 2006 marked the beginning of current phase in the creation discussion.   Theistic evolution has found a strong voice in the evangelical church largely through the efforts of the Templeton Foundation and the BioLogos Foundation.  The creation discussion has entered an entirely new and very different phase.

Theistic evolution is not new to the evangelical church.  However, the aggressive agenda, methods and finances of the Templeton Foundation and BioLogos Foundation are new.