Part 6: Is Theistic Evolution the Answer?

This is a legitimate question and it needs to be addressed.  Many Christians grew up being taught evolution through public education and the media.  As a result, theistic evolution (Evolutionary Creation) is a deeply rooted belief in many Christians, particularly in those who grew up in non-Christian homes.

Theistic evolution is now taught at evangelical colleges and seminaries. Today, significant portions of the evangelical community believe in theistic evolution.  Theistic evolution is promoted as being a way to make Christianity reasonable to secularists and as an evangelistic tool.

There are big problems with theistic evolution (Evolutionary Creation).  These problems include:

  • Theistic evolution is not considered to be scientific.
  • Theistic evolution is not supported by the science.
  • Theistic evolution is in conflict with the Bible.
  • Theistic evolution is in conflict with church history.

These problems will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

Theistic evolution is not considered to be scientific.

Secularists do not consider theistic evolution to be scientific.  This well illustrated by following excerpt (hyperlinks have been removed) from Wikipedia on 4/17/16:

“Theistic evolution, theistic evolutionism, or evolutionary creationism is views that regard religious teachings about God as compatible with modern scientific understanding about biological evolution. Theistic evolution is not a scientific theory, but a range of views about how the science of general evolution relates to religious beliefs in contrast to special creation views….”

Theistic evolution involves God or a god in creation.  Evolution, as understood by secularists, is based on a presupposition of naturalism.   Naturalism does not require the God of the Bible or any other god.

The difference between the scientific consensus and theistic evolution are well illustrated in the following quotation from Dr. Deborah Harrsma, the president of the BioLogos, a Christian theistic evolution group:

“First, at BioLogos we uphold the distinction between the Creator and the creation. This is essential for affirming the power of God as the ultimate cause, the loving and personal nature of God the Creator, and the complete reliance of the created order on God. Second, we uphold the goodness of creation, clearly taught in Genesis 1 and elsewhere in Scripture. God’s creation is good in that it fulfills the purpose for which he intended it, in its beauty and starkness, its order and wildness, and its purpose and flourishing.”

(The above quotation was taken from a blog by Dr. Harrsma dated 9/12/17.  It was excerpted from the Biologs website on 10/8/17.  Hyperlinks have been removed.)

The BioLogos position affirms:  “the distinction between the Creator and creation; the power of God as the ultimate cause; and the goodness of creation.  These affirmations are inconsistent with the view of the scientific consensus.

Theistic evolution is not supported by science.

Scientifically, the case theistic evolution is just as weak as the case for evolution.  The same issues in geology, biology, and astronomy which weaken the case for evolution also weaken the case for theistic evolution.  These issues were discussed in earlier portions of this series.

Theistic evolution is in conflict with the Bible.

Theistic evolution is in conflict with Scripture.  Historically, the vast majority of Christians have held to the plain reading and perspicuity of Scripture.  These lead to the conclusion that God created in six literal days of 24-hour duration.

Departures from the plain reading and the perspicuity of Scripture began in the 1830’s. At that time, the Day-Age and Ruin-Restoration (Gap Theory) views of creation were developed to accommodate the long time periods of time demanded by uniformitarianism.  Neither of these views accommodated the theory of evolution (1859).  Today, the Day-Age and Ruin-Restoration views have relatively few advocates.

New views of creation were required to accommodate evolution.  These new views are broadly termed discordant views.  The thrust of the discordant views is to remove the Bible from history and physical reality.  This is done by the use of various literary devices.  The ultimate goal is to make the first 11 chapters a “story” rather than a factual and historical record.

Proponents of theistic evolution now call for a re-examination of historicity of Adam.  Biblically, Adam and Eve were the first created humans and they fell into sin.  This sin nature was then passed onto all humankind.  Earlier Christian advocates of theistic evolution were able to agree that Adam and Eve were real people created by God and that they fell into sin.

However, theistic evolution has changed to conform to current secular opinion.  Now secularists are saying that humans evolved as a group (of thousands) rather that a single pair.  In order to have the fall of humankind,  it is now necessary for this group, called “Adam”, to have collectively fallen into sin.

This issue of the historicity of Adam is well illustrated in the following quotation from Dr. Deborah Harrsma, the president of the BioLogos, a Christian theistic evolution group:

“As Tim Keller notes in the video, his scientist friends have explained to him the scientific consensus that the human race did not originate from only two individuals. BioLogos has endeavored to explain the many lines of evidence in God’s creation that point to this. There is strong evidence for human evolution, particularly from the field of genetics, that has convinced almost every professional biologist, both Christian and secular. The genetic evidence also shows convincingly that the human population was never as small as a single couple. The level of scientific confidence on these points is extremely high, and continues to grow. As Christians, we can’t ignore the testimony in God’s creation.”

(The above quotation was taken from a blog by Dr. Harrsma dated 9/12/17.  It was excerpted from the BioLogs website on 10/8/17.  Hyperlinks have been removed.)

The wording “…testimony of God’s creation.” In reality means the position of the scientific consensus.  This consensus is a human interpretation of observations not God’s word.  The BioLogos solution is to revise the Christian’s understanding of the Bible so that it will not conflict with the positions of the scientific consensus.

Theistic evolution is in conflict with church history.

Theistic evolution is not supported by church history.  The literal view of creation has been part of church history since creation.  In contrast, theistic evolution becomes a view only after 1859.

In Summary

Theistic evolution is not considered scientific by the scientific consensus.  Theistic evolution has all the problems as evolution as defined by the scientific consensus.  Theistic evolution is in conflict with the Bible.  Theistic evolution is a recent addition to church history that is in conflict with all that preceded it.

Theistic evolution has been presented as a way to harmonize Scripture and science.  This “harmonization” is unacceptable to the scientific consensus; this “harmonization” is unacceptable to those who hold to the plain reading and perspicuity of Scripture.   Theistic evolution is not the answer!