Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Is theistic evolution consistent with a Biblical worldview? part 2

I linked to my previous blog post, Is theistic evolution consistent with a Biblical worldview?, from my facebook page and let me tell you, the discussion was much more lively than in the comment section here (thank you Roan and Catherine for your words of encouragement!). Anyway, this debate has caused me to think a little deeper about these issues and I wanted to share some of that with you in this follow-up post.

Two other points I left out of my last post that I think are valid in arguing against theistic evolution are 1.) the repetition of “after its own kind” which is contrary to evolution which requires change across species and 2.) the order of creation is not consistent with evolutionary theory which says that life originated in the sea before land and that birds evolved from dinosaurs. But, the main thing I want to expose tonight is that this debate is really over another debate.

1. Theistic evolutionists take Genesis 1 as being figurative, rather than literal. They take it to be a poetic description of our origins, despite the lack of poetic language. So, they refute the difference I pointed out between 2 Peter 3:8 “one day is as a thousand years…” and Genesis 1 that does not have the wording for simile or metaphor (no like or as- not in the Hebrew, either.) They say it doesn’t matter, that it is obviously not to be taken literally.

2. Several exchanges later, my friend stated the following. “I would suggest that the Bible was written, collected, translated, and printed by fallible human beings who were struggling to describe the indescribable, with stories spread across many centuries. That’s why there are so many different translations, versions, books left out, books left in, retranslations as new sources are rediscovered… Such a work as this cannot be expected to be literal throughout, or even consistent, because the point is the message. The idea of literal history is very 20th-century, and doesn’t have much bearing on a book written before the fall of the Roman Empire. If the Bible says that clouds are green, am I to trust it over my own lying eyes?”

The Bible doesn’t say that clouds are green. As another of my friends pointed out, this is a slippery slope. So, you don’t believe Genesis 1 is literal. What about the ten commandments? What about the great commission? What about John 3:16? What about the resurrection? What about the return of Christ?

This might sound shocking to you, but if I didn’t believe the Bible was the actual Word of God, I wouldn’t spend so much time studying it. I mean, what would be the point? I’m not that big of a history buff. And I wouldn’t go to church, either. I’m anti-social by nature anyway, so why buck it?

“For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

According to the above verse, the Bible is God’s Word and it is living. It’s not just a book written by a bunch of guys who had a spiritual encounter they wanted to share for posterity’s sake.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16

Again, the Bible is God-breathed and without it, we’re incomplete.

Our initial debate over creationism versus theistic evolution ended up as a debate over the inerrancy and infallibility of the Word of God.

3. My friend also had some interesting things to say about faith. “I don’t think faith in God increases if we believe that God created the world in 7, 24-hr long days. I think it instills, instead, an arrogance. A stronger faith means eliminating the safety net. This belief that the Bible is both inerrant and literal is a safety net; when something challenges your beliefs, you can fall back on, “I KNOW that this is so, because it’s in the Bible. My challenge to you is that if you really want faith, take that safety net away. Recognize that the Bible was written by flawed, fallible, sinful human beings…. Know that God allowed them to err when they wrote it, to let petty grievances creep in. Know that it is an essentially human creation. And then once you’ve done that, take your first step on the tightrope. For a minute, pretend that everything I said above is true. It scares you, doesn’t it?”

My response to my friend was that his version of faith sounds like blind faith and that’s what I thought creationists were accused of (confusing, isn’t it?)!

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Substance. Evidence. That doesn’t sound like blind faith to me. God is not asking us to have a blind faith, but to look at history (don’t you love all those memorials God was always having the Israelites build and the feasts and holy days in remembrance of His mighty works of deliverance and provision for His chosen ones?) and to look around at nature and see that He is TRUSTWORTHY!

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Hebrews 11:3

This is not blind faith. It’s faith in a God who has proven Himself time and again. And His people have always had short-term memory. How quickly we forget His mighty works and wondrous deeds, but the reminders are all around us.

My friend is right. Faith in a God who either could not or chose not to preserve His Word, but let it be corrupted by man so that it exists as “essentially a human creation”, is walking on a tightrope. It would scare the heck out of me. I’m so grateful that the Bible doesn’t call us to have that kind of faith. It seems to me that would reduce Christianity to a fairy tale. And I’m not really into fairy tales.
My friend is an honest thinker who has carried theistic evolution to its logical conclusion: the Bible is not really the inerrant Word of God, it's "essentially a human creation".

I used to be a fan of the X-Files in my college years. Its motto was, “The truth is out there.” I believe a more accurate statement would be, “The truth is in there”, in the Bible that is. I also believe that there has been no scientific discovery that contradicts God’s perfect, infallible Word. What is science, but the means of discovering God’s world? I love this famous quote by Sir Isaac Newton.

“I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy, playing on the seashore and diverting myself now and then in finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”


  1. Excellent post. Thanks for visiting today. You have a beautiful family.

  2. I've been thinking about this a lot today, wondering why people are so reluctant to believe God's word and place their lives into His hands. God made us intelligent beings and scientists are discovering new things about His creation all the time.

    I am no scientist, but once again refer to a sermon I heard. A pastor asked us why, when Jesus body was pierced with the sword, did the author record that 'blood and water flowed down'.

    Apparently, in later years, it was discovered that when a person was dead fluid surrounded the heart (I think) so by writing these things John was actually proving, to every doubting Thomas centuries later, that Jesus had really died and not just fainted and later revived as some skeptics claim.

    So, to get to the point, perhaps people didn't immediately understand the significance of the 'blood and water' or placed a symbolic value on it instead, but it turned out to be a valuable piece of scientific information.

    There are other examples of this type of thing in the Bible, and I think it proves to those that require some sort of proof that "All scripture is God-breathed..."

    Of course, some people refuse to believe despite the proof in front of them and I believe they are the people referred to in Romans 1:25 (New International Version) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie ...

  3. You do a good job conveying the necessary stance against the concept of theistic evolution. The Enemy desires to discredit the Scriptures in the eyes of humanity so that we will not turn to the words therein and find salvation and rest for our souls.

    This whole line of thinking, that the Bible is just a human book filled with fallacy is modern, academic gobbledy gook. They've been teaching this stuff since the early 1900's at least and it's had a tremendous impact on the churches. It appears to me to be the "scholarly" equivalent of "Hath God said?"

    Thank you for standing for the truth.



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.