Theistic Evolution

A huge debate going on right now is on the topic of Naturalistic Evolution (also known as Neo-Darwinism) and Intelligent Design.
Advocates of evolution seem to have the popular view, or at least they are the loudest, since if you ask most people they assume that evolution is the only theory on the origin of species. According to the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, even mentioning another side of the argument can cause many to lose their job, which continues to promote the idea that evolutionary theory is the only theory out there.
But there is another theory, Intelligent Design (I.D.). Intelligent Design is often times viewed as a “religious” or “theological” view, but it isn’t. It is a scientific theory that states that certain things in nature are so complex that it is impossible for them to come to where they are in a fully natural way. This tends to be a common belief among Christians as Christians believe that the God is the designer.
One other theory, called Theistic Evolution. This theory states that God used evolution in the creation of the world. This is mainly a way to try and merge what the mainstream scientists believe with what the Bible says.
Theistic evolution however, is nothing more than an attempt to harmonize God’s perfect Word with man’s imperfect thoughts. Let’s look at what the Bible states on this issue.
Origin of Man
Genesis 1:26-28

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

According to this passage man is an intentional creation from God, made in a distinct way different than the rest of the animal kingdom. None of the other animals were ever created with the description of being made in the image of God.
Another interesting point, is that when God created every animal, He spoke them into existence, but man, God formed man with His hands, and then breathed the breath of life into them.
Genesis 2:7

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

According to evolutionary theory:

Human evolution, or anthropogenesis, is the part of biological evolution concerning the emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens as a distinct species from other hominansgreat apes and placental mammals.

Where the Bible says that Adam is a specific man created by God distinct from all the other animals where evolution says that man emerged from other animals in the animal kingdom and eventually became a distinct species. These views are completely in contradiction. Jesus mentions Adam as being a specific individual, so if we say that Adam was not an actual created person then we say that Jesus is lying.
So when your world view challenges what the Bible says, which will you decide is right?
Origin of Death
Pay careful attention to this point, because it involves one of the basic fundamental beliefs of Christianity.
1 Corinthians 15:21-22

For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Romans 5:12

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

The Bible is clear that Death is a product of sin, a product of one man breaking God’s laws. This world was intended to exist without death, and one day we will return to the perfect state of the world.
The theory of evolution states something quite different. According to evolution, death has been around for millions of years, and it is necessary for natural selection to take place. Death is a natural process a part of the natural world.
Don’t miss that point, according to evolutionary theory, death is a natural process necessary for life to evolve, but according to the Bible death is unnatural, it is a product of our sin. If death is a natural product that God created from the beginning for the process of evolution then Jesus’ death would be in vain, because it would not be a penalty for sin it would be a natural process.
Jesus knew no sin
Hebrews 4:14-15

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 53:5, 12

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

2 Corinthians 5:21

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

So if you believe in Theistic evolution, then Jesus’ death was for nothing, it couldn’t have been a penalty for sin, it couldn’t be Him paying that penalty for us, and we are lost still. This whole concept is deeply important to our salvation. In the old testament it was the slaying of a lamb that would be sufficient as a sacrifice, again, the death of an innocent would cover the sins of man.
So when your world view challenges what the Bible says, which will you decide is right?
7 Days of creation is in the wrong order
Day 1: God creates the world and light
Day 2: God creates the sky, and separates it from the ocean
Day 3: God creates dry land and plants
Day 4: God creates the sun and moon
Day 5: God creates sea creatures and birds of the air
Day 6: God creates land animals and man
Day 7: God rested
Some say that God used evolution but that each day was really a representation of a long period of time, thousands or millions of years per day. But we have a problem here, plants are created before the sun is, and we all know plants can’t survive and reproduce without sunlight. Also, Birds of the air are created before land animals, and according to evolutionary theory birds evolved from land animals.
So does this mean that man lived with dinosaurs? Just read the last two chapters of Job where God talks about 2 “prehistoric” creatures that Job is actually looking at, or search or lake beds where we find men’s footprints along side dinosaur footprints.
Also, when God created the plants, and each animal, He commands them to reproduce according to their kind. According to neo-Darwinism each animal reproduces and eventually creates a different kind, this is completely against what the Bible says.
So we have a big discrepancy here, these two accounts of creation cannot mix at all.
Biblical Age of the Earth
Genesis 5 gives us a detailed account of how old the age of the earth is. This gives us 2 important pieces of information. For one it shows that the Bible considers these people to be literal humans, giving them specific dates that the were born and died on. Neo-Darwinism blurs the line of when the first human appeared, there are several stages of advancement and there is no distinction of when the first human appears in history.
Also this tells us clearly how old the earth is. We know that Adam was created on Day 6, “And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth” (Genesis 5:3).
Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old, so he was born in the year 130. “Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh.” (Genesis 5:6). Enosh is born when Seth is 105, since Seth was born in the year 130 we can easily calculate the year that Enosh is born (130 + 105). Enosh is born in the year 235.
This process can be repeated, Genesis 5 goes all the way to Noah, and then you can continue through other chapters of the Bible such as Genesis 10 and Matthew 1. Not all chapters give an exact date, but you can easily estimate the life of one person. Through this process you can estimate that the Earth is aproximately 6,000 years old. Obviously not long enough for macro-evolution to create life.
If the Bible meant for the Genesis account to be taken as an analogy or a symbol, then it wouldn’t give such details. Doing this research is very interesting, you can see how the lifespan of people was much larger before the flood, so we can assume that something major happened in the flood that changed the climate so humans couldn’t live as long. These are all interesting topics to consider and research but they are outside the scope of this blog.
The point is that the Bible is clear on the creation account, it gives specific details and the gospel message itself is founded on the very beginning, that God created us unique and different than the animal kingdom, making us with souls where other animals don’t have souls. It is because of our sin that death is in the world and it is for that very reason that Jesus was able to come and live a sinless life, and die taking our place on the cross, He took our place under God’s wrath.
Conclusion

Theistic evolution however, is nothing more than an attempt to harmonize God’s perfect Wordwith man’s imperfect thoughts

The main reason people do try to mix these theories is because evolution is popular right now, but the popular scientific theories are not always correct. We need to rely on God and not man.
For those who think that this means we check our brains at the door and follow the Bible blindly, you couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many websites on Intelligent Design that talk about the science that proves that there must be an intelligent force behind the creation of everything. We as Christians know who that intelligent force is.
Check out some other resources such as http://apologetics.org, or subscribe to a podcast called Darwin or Designwhere they discuss these issues and interview some top scientists on a weekly radio show. If you have questions feel free to ask us at http://www.EternalTruthMinistry.com

Don’t compromise your beliefs just because someone says they have evidence to the contrary, we know from courts that both sides have evidence, but both are not correct, just because you have evidence doesn’t mean you have all the facts about the evidence. Look into all sides for yourself, know the facts for yourself. God gave you a mind, use it.
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2 thoughts on “Theistic Evolution

  • January 11, 2011 at 1:26 am
    Permalink

    Jon,
    Thanks for addressing this issue. Luther said ‘Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.’
    The issue of Evolution was and is a hot issue for the Church in Western Culture.
    Thank you for addressing Theistic Evolution as well–it is easy to forget some Christians follow this line of thinking.
    Affirmation:
    I really like your take on Death. Maybe you know this, but few people today bring up the fact a large motivator for Darwin’s work on Evolutionary theory was to explain death, suffering and apparent cruelty of predators in the animal kingdom–as well as in people.
    Thanks for leveraging so much scripture in your argument. I really appreciate that.
    Critique:
    Also, a thought occurred as I read your “order of creation” argument.
    God made light on Day one, so, while the light source wasn’t ‘the sun’ didn’t the plants have light already–whatever form it was?
    Also, evolution, design, if there was no light because there was no sun, isn’t that a problem for both origin stories?
    It’s an interesting point, the order of ops, but I don’t think you need it for your argument.
    Questions:
    I am curious to know your answers to some questions I am working through:
    1. What you do with the issue of ‘dating,’ i.e. carbon, argon, and the like. If the earth is ~6000 years old, what is one supposed to do with that?
    2. What do you do with distances in space and our ability to see stars over 6000 light years away? What about phenomena that appear to have occurred in post creation space-time but over 6000 light years away?
    v/r
    JDH

    Reply
  • January 11, 2011 at 3:14 am
    Permalink

    Hey JDH, thanks for reading and replying. I will get to answering your other comment as soon as I have time. 🙂
    All we know about the source of light is that it was from God, no created object yet. I guess you could say that for thousands or millions of years God’s light made everything grow before He created the sun, but that just does not compute in my mind lol.
    Carbon dating and the like all are assumptions made based on how long ago the object died. When you get something dated you have to specify how old you think the object is. Dr. Kent Hovind and his ministry sent in two samples to be dated, one they said was realy young and one extremely old. They got back “exact” numbers for each one that matched closely to what was requested, item A appeared millions of years old item B was just a thousand or so. Then they sent in the same two samples but reversed which one they said was older and got back results that confliced with the first one. They had to choose dates that were close to what was requested.
    To answer your other question, I do not know. When God created everything they already appeared aged. Adam and Eve were adults, it seems to talk about animals and not eggs or anything along those lines, so the stars could have been created with teh light already reaching earth. Or maybe there are other rules that guide starlight that we know nothing about with our physics.
    Human minds do not comprehend the eternal God or His creation very well. 🙂

    Reply

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