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The Face of the Battle

Thursday, April 01, 2010 | Comments (68)

Here at the beginning of our series on origins, I want to take a moment to show you what we're dealing with as we argue for a literal, historical interpretation of Genesis 1-3. These three reputable scholars--Bruce Waltke, Tremper Longman III, and N.T. Wright--are teaching and training the current and next generation of pastors, Bible teachers, and theologians. They write prolifically, lecture routinely, and speak openly as respected and trustworthy evangelical sources. Here they are, in their own words, explaining why you should not take the first chapters of Genesis in a literal, historic sense.

Bruce Waltke (Professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary) believes we will forfeit our witness (read, "academic respectability") if we don't compromise with whatever the evolutionists feed us.



"Our spiritual death"? Really? Spiritual vitality belongs to those Christians who are willing to be marginalized as a small sect who takes God at His word.

(*Update* Bruce Waltke has asked The BioLogos Foundation to remove his video from their website and YouTube channel. Waltke told BioLogos he still agrees with the content of the video (you can read the paper he presented at their Theology of Celebration conference here); but he is concerned that the video's brevity will lead to a misunderstanding of his views. You can read more about his concerns and the agenda of BioLogos here. Waltke says "I believe that creation by the process of evolution is a tenable Biblical position, and, as represented by BioLogos, the best Christian apologetic to defend Genesis 1-3 against its critics."

In the same update, the BioLogos Foundation writes, "[Dr. Waltke's decision]is an extremely important statement about the culture of fear within evangelicalism in today’s world. Leading evangelicals who support evolution are rightly fearful of personal attacks on the integrity of their faith and character." One commenter lamented, "It is surely a sad day for evangelicals everywhere when attempts to integrate science and faith lead to such hostile reactions from people such as John MacArthur and Douglas Wilson."

Since Waltke's own data suggest the evangelical trend toward Old Earth Creationism and Evolutionary Creationism, away from Young Earth Creationism (YEC), why would leading evangelicals be fearful? YEC holds very little sway these days, especially in academic circles, so it's hard not to see their concern as nothing more than a tacit accusation of fear-mongering by those who hold to Young Earth Creationism. That said, as long as Genesis is ignored, interpreted superficially, or distorted to support the evolutionary model of origins, they should continue to expect a negative reaction from those who treasure the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.)


In this first clip, Tremper Longman III (Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College) explains how literalists have been quite naive about the creation account. In the second clip, Longman wonders whether we have grounds to affirm a historical Adam, especially since we can't take the Genesis narrative literally. (After all, God doesn't have hands or breath, so how could He scoop dust together and breathe life into Adam's nostrils?)




According to Romans 5, Paul seems to think a historical Adam has major redemptive implications. But, maybe we're getting Paul all wrong too...

...which brings us to N.T. Wright (Bishop of Durham, Church of England). In his typical style--like a bemused parent scolding an immature teenager--Wright chastises biblical literalists for flattening out the text, forcing it to conform to their own interests. He considers literalists to be "unfaithful to the text itself" since they pervert its true meaning to win petty cultural arguments. Somehow, Wright has been able to transcend all that, restoring to us the real meaning of Genesis 1-3: this world was made to be God's abode.



That's it? This world was made to be God's abode is all we're to understand from Genesis 1-3? Seriously, Bishop Wright. Who is guilty of flattening out the text?

Though they come to us with impressive scholarly credentials, we're not going to make Waltke's truce with evolution; we refuse to question the historic reality of Adam along with Longman; nor will we accept Wright's authoritative, unsubstantiated pronouncements about the true interpretation of Genesis 1-3. Instead, we see Genesis 1-3 as setting the foundation for everything. Here's how John MacArthur put it: "The starting point for Christianity is not Matthew 1:1, but Genesis 1:1" (The Battle for the Beginning, 44).

Well, that's the face of the battle--evangelical voices, trusted by many, have surrendered crucial ground. In fact, they've ceased to speak with an evangelical voice on this issue; they've unwitting become the heralds of a naturalistic, rationalistic, and anti-Christian worldview.

Travis Allen
Director of Internet Ministry


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#1  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Thursday, April 01, 2010at 7:23 PM

I appreciate an opportunity to make a comment here, Most of our problems in Christianity have to do with our "need" to make things relevent to the outside world. heard. And while I respect Dr Walktke, and feel like he is trying to honor the Word, I would disagree on why we need to do so. Evolution has never been about "science", it is about pushing God out of his world. There is plenty of hard evidence that shows that demonstates that the world was "created" without bowing to the pressure of ungodly men would are more interested in their sex drive then to truth. We forget that our main purpose is to make God's Truth known. And we forget that foundations of modern science were based upon a "creationist" mentality. We understand that God created the known universe and that he used six days. What exactly that intails outside of the six 24 hour days we may only glimpse. But whatever those issues may be, (i.e. the interaction of time-space and gravity, as well as a whole host of other issues outside our ability to disern ) We need not allow a debate to limit us to the World's perspective. And is is not an issue of our intellegence, we should know from past history that human kind is not all that astute. We only think that we are smart enough. Just think of all the wars started by smart folks, all the bad business decisions make by, thats right smart people. And we have folks like Charles Darwin, and Julian Huxley who tell us that the reason that the doctrine of evolution was accepted so readily was due to folks being able to jettison God for their sexual desire. Smart people put their head in the sand and think that God won't see their rear end standing up in the air. Smart people put Christ on the cross because they were afraid that Rome would take their land away, forgetting that Jesus could raise the dead, and that he could cause the blind to see, and lame to walk. Heads of state did not want to free Christ because they were afraid that they would loose their positions, afraid that others would think less of them. The early Church exploded because it was true to the Word of God, even though they were accused of eating babies, on and on we could go. But I think I've said enough to make my point.

#3  Posted by Jason Hilliard  |  Thursday, April 01, 2010at 7:29 PM

It is absolutely absurd in the highest degree to even entertain the idea that it is EVER a good idea to compromise ANY Biblical truth. These men are clearly giving in to the secular world that calls us foolish. Rather than working harder and praying harder to exposit the word of God more boldly and accurately.

If you undermine the 6 day literal creation then you crumble the foundations of Biblical doctrine including but not limited to Original Sin, the pattern for the Sabbath (6 days you shall labor), without a literal 6 days you can't explain death and suffering from the Bible because introducing evolution means there was death and suffering before the fall of Adam and Eve. If that's true then the curse and fall in Gen 3 has no meaning...

If we say that it is ok to take the Genesis account of creation as non-literal where do we begin to take the Bible literally?

Where does it stop? If this is the path then the Bible may as well be tossed out.

Praise God that His Word is 100% infallible, inerrant, and perfect for all teaching and wisdom! Praise God taht I can trust Him! Praise God that through His Word He has revealed and proven Himself!

#4  Posted by Alan Samuel  |  Thursday, April 01, 2010at 7:43 PM

Well that's pretty amazing to hear these men speak like this. I'm not all too familiar with all these men. I could be wrong but it could be possible that these men are caving in to political,social pressure from their peers. Some of their attitudes don't seem to be very Christlike, more like the worlds, where cynicism and sarcasm prevail. Nonetheless I'm not very well suited to argue in this matter it's not one of my strongsuits. I do have the Battle for the beginning cd collection and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in what the Lord has to say about His creation.

#5  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Thursday, April 01, 2010at 8:20 PM

Travis, these people are unregenerate messengers of Satan 2 Corinthians 11:14, 15. Our churches and seminaries are filled with religious unregenerate people who have walked the isle, prayed the prayer, or made decisions for “Christ”. The scriptures clearly state that God’s attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. See Romans 1: 18-20. If this is true, and it is, then rather than trying to convince people about existence of God or the validity of the creation perhaps we would do well to warn them of God’s judgment that awaits them if the do not forsake their sins and flee to Christ for mercy. Let’s “cut to the chase”. Better yet, perhaps we could better serve them and the Church by discussing the necessity of the new birth and the characteristics of those who has been “born from above”. After all, it has always been only a remnant that is saved. Without sanctification, no one will see God. See Hebrews 12:14b. His Unworthy Slave

#6  Posted by Ronald Kavanaugh  |  Thursday, April 01, 2010at 11:13 PM

I want to give thanks to the Spirit of my God and Savior for the discernment I believe Christ gives me and others of the true Church of Christ to recognize the folly and the heresy that the positions represented by these so-called scholars of the Christian scriptures. But I don't even have to use the Scripture to demonstrate the difficulty in their position. I would ask these men how it is and on what basis they deviate from the literality of the writing. The deviation they propose is purely and wholly a function of their own concept of reason. Granted, their is historical and modern literature that, by its very nature and substance must be considered outside of a literal understanding, but in the context of the canon of scripture their is no reasonable basis to deviate from what it states. Literal communication must always be considered as the intent, unless proven otherwise and that has clearly not been proven by the presuppositional interpretations rendered by these men. They have simply read into the scripture what they like in accordance with their own misguided and presumed capacity for superior reasoning. The Scripture is inspired by God and is easily understood by those, I believe, who know His voice. I find it humorous when men can't get their head around something and still refuse that God can and does do anything in accordance with his good pleasure. Why wouldn't God create all things in six days knowing that these things would be codified by written revelation to man perhaps with a view to expressing other relevation about the character and substance of the Father and how he determined to do such things. And, why is it so important that the Christian Church not be marginalized....the Church is to protect and testify as to the truth of the Word...I do not believe it is charged with the responsibility of protecting market share in the business of religion.

#7  Posted by Andrew Young  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 1:24 AM

NT Wright DOESN'T BELIEVE the 6 days are literal, DOESN'T BELIEVE the devil is a real being and says people over the centuries have done well to personify him - Could list more of his unbeliefs... but arn't believers ment to be just that though, BELIEVERS? Nice - he seems to be marked by a good deal of unbelief.

He also wrote endoursing Steve Chalk's book that made the comments about penial substitution being like cosmic child abuse. Good choice of book to put your name to I must say! Good to see he supports work like that and then takes a crack at people who believe the bible.

Actually, while I'm at it - check out NT Wright - this is out of one of his own lectures. Clearly he doesn't like the idea of the word of God being inerrant or infallible so its not surprising to hear him show his unbelief of Genesis.

"My conclusion, then, is this: that the regular views of scripture and its authority which we find not only outside but also inside evangelicalism fail to do justice to what the Bible actually is—a book, an ancient book, an ancient narrative book. They function by tuning that book into something else, and by implying thereby that God has, after all, given us the wrong sort of book. This is a low doctrine of inspiration, whatever heights are claimed for it and whatever words beginning with ‘in-’ are used to label it. I propose that what we need to do is to re-examine the concept of authority itself and see if we cannot do a bit better."

#8  Posted by Rebecca Flynn  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 4:08 AM

N.T. Wright needs to be reminded of the scripture in Matthew 5:34-35, which says, "But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King."

I am very thankful for God's mercy to keep some men, like John MacArthur, in a steadfast belief in, and adherence to God's Holy, and True, and Perfect Word, and that we are privileged to hear him share those truths with us in such a magnificent and uncompromising way! Thank you God for some that still stand for what is absolute truth.

I hope that we are praying for God to raise up more men to stand where men like John MacArthur stand.

#10  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 6:11 AM

Douglass, #5,

Though we certainly would argue that these men are seriously muddled in their understanding of Genesis, I don't think it is the wisest response to claim right out of the gate that they are "unregenerate."  Bruce Waltke, for example, has written good stuff in other areas of scripture and I certainly would consider him to be a Christian.

A person can be a Christian and hold errant views of Genesis.  There could very well be a series of factors unrelated to the person's salvation that is bringing him to draw those conclusions.  For example, many creationists I know believed evolution for several years after their salvation.  They tried to reconcile Genesis with evolution simply because they didn't really know any better.  It wasn't until after they reconsidered their beliefs in light of scripture that they changed their position.  In other words, we need to allow some room for the sanctifying, mind renewing process of the Holy Spirit to work in a person's heart and mind.

Fred

#11  Posted by Leslie Moffat  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 6:58 AM

Acts 17:26,27&28

From 1 man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the WHOLE earth. He determined the times set before them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out to Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.

For in Him we live, move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said," We are His offspring"

From New International Version

How more clear is it from this text that Genesis 1-3 is totally literal and there is no room for Evolution or human interpretation unless under the direct guidance and influence of the Holy Spirit.

Leslie

#12  Posted by Mike Dillon  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 7:48 AM

Ronald,

You typed, "And, why is it so important that the Christian Church not be marginalized....the Church is to protect and testify as to the truth of the Word...I do not believe it is charged with the responsibility of protecting market share in the business of religion."

Amen to that! We are to fear God not man.

Evolution is founded on chance-- that all we see around us is a result of random chance. It is impossible to believe that and not also be denying the God of the Holy Bible. Nowhere do we read that God 'rolled the dice' and 'let the chips fall where they may'. What we do read is that He is before all things and in Him all things hold together (Collosians 1:17).

Mike

#13  Posted by Gary Dieffenderfer  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 7:58 AM

I know folks who would say that belief in certain parts of Genesis are not "Hills to Die On". If they hold to a correct inderstanding of Jesus' salvation work, that makes them Christian (& hold to other basic beliefs that would be considered "Hills to Die On"). And theres always the "We-can-agree-to-disagree" argument.

My problem/concern is that if you take away the Genesis story as its laid out, denying that Adam existed (!?!), or that mans sin is of greatimportance, or that Gods creative powers are limited to evolution - I think these stands take away from the whole of the redemption story and are a cause of great concern. I understand how people are at different places in their sanctification; but these guys are supposedly the "evangelical leaders"! There should not be this kind of Scriptual juggling coming from them, IMHO.

I'd love to hear thoughts, because I truly do struggle to know those gray areas of the "Hills to Die On" debate

#14  Posted by Randy Johnson  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 8:48 AM

"Like a muddied spring and a polluted well, so is a righteous person who gives way before the wicked." (Proverbs 25:26 - NET Bible)

I rejoice with the rest of you how God has sustained and preserved the faithful witness of men like Dr. John MacArthur. I have been listening to his tapes and reading his books since 1980, the year I became a follower of Jesus.

I am also blessed to read these posts by like-minded men and women. God bless you all.

#15  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 9:21 AM

Those video clips are sobering.  It’s friendly fire.  Somehow I think evangelicals are much more comfortable battling abortionists, atheists, homosexuals and proponents of social injustice.  But men like Bruce Waltke?  It’s confusing to evangelicals, and as history testifies, confusion is a powerful and effective weapon wielded in the hands of Satan—especially when it comes from influential men of this caliber.  That brings up another important point.  Satan confuses and deceives, but his work is in no way limited to unbelievers, who are already dead, blind and deceived.  We have to be careful in making determinations about one’s salvation based upon their interpretation of Genesis.  Conversion does not totally eradicate confusion.       

That’s why I’m saddened most of all to watch the clip of Bruce Waltke.  I lost count of all the times his name was mentioned in my first 2 years at seminary—and always in positive light.  His 2 volume set of commentaries on the book of Proverbs has helped many young men rediscover the glory of God’s wisdom in the Old Testament.  His grasp of the wisdom literature was a tremendous encouragement to me in understanding how to teach difficult portions of the Old Testament.  And his contribution to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament is priceless.   

But the video sounds like a different Bruce Waltke.  What happened?  Pressure happened.  I can’t imagine the immense pressure these men must feel to cave in on such a critical issue as the historical creation account in Genesis.  It reminds me of Herod killing John the Baptist.  Mark’s explanation is chilling… “he was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests ….”  Academic Evangelicals want to have their cake and eat it too.  The only question is … what is the cake?

This should serve as a sobering reminder to all of us.  The Word of God is not only sufficient, but it is superior.  Science is a great servant, but a poor master. 

#16  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 10:43 AM

It is interesting to hear some scientists say, "Science cannot prove anything, it can only create theories and hypotheses which need continual testing." Then other scientists say, "Evolution is a proven fact." Then other scientists say, "There are so many problems with evolution, and it is untestable (at the macro-level), so there is no need for Christians to accomodate."

And then Christians say, "if we want to be respected in the world we need to believe in the fact of evolution." You really don't have to read very much to know that the fact of evolution is contested among scientists. So for Christians (like the men above) to cave in demonstrates that there is more going on than what appears on the surface.

What is also interesting (and I just heard a scientist do this) is when scientists feel legitimized in their view by pointing to biblical scholars who say that Genesis allows for evolution. But those scholars have only changed their view of Genesis in order to be legitimized by science. So it is circular reasoning and each look to each other for validation and a pat on the back.

#17  Posted by Lyn Perez  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 11:07 AM

Bruce Waltke released the following statement regarding this video of him.

From Bruce:

1. I had not seen the video before it was distributed. Having seen it now, I realize its deficiency and wish to put my comments in a fuller theological context.

2. Adam and Eve are historical figures from whom all humans are descended; they are uniquely created in the image of God and as such are not in continuum with animals.

3. Adam is the federal and historical head of the fallen human race just as Jesus Christ is the federal and historical head of the Church.

4. I am not a scientist, but I have familiarized myself with attempts to harmonize Genesis 1-3 with science, and I believe that creation by the process of evolution is a tenable Biblical position. I apologize for giving the impression that others who seek to harmonize the two differently are not credible. I honor all who contend for the Christian faith.

5. Evolution as a process must be clearly distinguished from evolutionism as a philosophy. The latter is incompatible with orthodox Christian theology.

6. Science is fallible and subject to revision. As a human and social enterprise, science will always be in flux. My first commitment is to the infallibility (as to its authority) and inerrancy (as to its Source) of Scripture.

7. God could have created the Garden of Eden with apparent age or miraculously, even as Christ instantly turned water into wine, but the statement that God “caused the trees to grow” argues against these notions.

8. I believe that the Triune God is Maker and Sustainer of heaven and earth and that biblical Adam is the historical head of the human race.

9. Theological comments made here are mostly a digest of my chapters on Genesis 1-3 in An Old Testament Theology (Zondervan, 2007).

Bruce Waltke, Professor of Old Testament

#18  Posted by Travis Allen  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 11:24 AM

Scroll up to read the update, which explains the reason the Bruce Waltke video isn't working any longer. Thanks!

Travis Allen
Director of Internet Ministry

#19  Posted by Randy Johnson  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 2:00 PM

Well, what can I say? I've been working from the wrong definition of evolution. The definition "satanically-inspired, erudite buffoonery" is only applicable to evolution as a philosophy. Evolution as a process was present in the Garden, and instead of taking long ages, only took between 1-7 days. I now have a new definition for evolution as a process, "God caused the trees to grow in 1-7 days". (sarcasm mine)

I know the difference between macro and micro evolution. What does this change? The problem is when the conclusions lead us away from God and away from his redemptive purpose. “For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made.” (Rom. 1:20) Whether it was by design or not, evolution is a “scientific conspiracy” against God. Instead of affirming God, it not only questions his relevance but also his very existence. Jesus did not design this into his creation. His design was to use creation to make us run toward God – not away from Him. (Psalms 19)

#20  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 4:37 PM

Thank you Dr Waltke for you comments, I appreciate your clarification. Most of us have not read your notes, so your comments are a welcome addition.

#21  Posted by Rick White  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 4:56 PM

The question I would like to ask these men is, if God had used the process of evolution over millions or billions of years,why did He not inspire words to that effect? He could very easily have had Moses use words that clearly confirm that is what happened. He didn't. He used words that state that He used six literal 24 hour days to bring into existence His creation. If that is not what He did why did He use that kind of language? Was God being deceptive? Did He wish for us to be confused? No,He meant for us to understand what happened and why so we can be instructed by His word and learn to follow and obey Him.

#22  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 7:42 PM

Fred #10

Do you believe that the only way a person can come into the Kingdom of God is to come to Christ as a spiritual cowering beggar seeking mercy and deliverance from sin (see Matthew 1:21 and Matthew 5:3)? Matthew 5:3-12 describes the spiritual life of one who has been born again from “birth” to “maturity”. For theirs is the kingdom of heaven, literally theirs and theirs only in the Greek. If anyone has not come to God through Christ in this manner then they are still in their sins. If this is true, and it is, then the question must be asked “how does a person’s mode of evangelism lead the sinner to see himself or herself as being under the wrath of God because their sin has so offended the thrice Holy God?”

You state “A person can be a Christian and hold errant views of Genesis”. If a person has been born again God has given them an entirely new nature. He has put His law within them and He has written that law upon the new heart of flesh that He has given them (See Jeremiah 31:33 and Ezekiel 36:26, 27). Though a person may hold errant views about Genesis at the time of their new birth, when the word of God is brought before them they will embrace the Word of God as the truth because they have His Spirit and law within them. It was after all the Word of God that caused them to be born again in the first place (See 1 Peter 1:23). Because of this radical new birth they embrace that living and abiding Word of God. They have a reverence for that Word. A Godly man or woman of God even trembles at His Word (See Isaiah 66:2).

To make “the gospel” more palatable to evolutionists reveals a lack of understanding of what the new birth actually is as it works against the conviction of sin necessary for the process of the new birth to occur. Furthermore, is this how our Master fished for men? How about Steven, Paul, James or Peter? Is this how they fished for men? If this man is truly born again he will repent and his repentance will be loud, very loud! Look at the repentance of Job, “Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes”. Fred, the new birth is a radical event. Yes, sanctification is a life long process but this man is not a new convert. Furthermore, God says that the evolutionist is without excuse. (See Romans 1:18-20) –His Unworthy Slave

#23  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Friday, April 02, 2010at 8:12 PM

Evolutionists and those sympathetic to them would rob God of His Glory. To speak everything into existence is Glory indeed, but to take vile wretched hostile sinners and transform them into loving faithful saints who count it a joy to suffer for their Redeemer and Master, now that is an even greater Glory. Oh, the Glory of Christ! To Him be the Glory both now and forevermore! He is risen indeed! His Unworthy Slave

#24  Posted by Randy Johnson  |  Saturday, April 03, 2010at 11:16 AM

Apparently, Rick, of the different views on creation it's the one which makes the most sense for the individual. Since we cannot know precisely "how" our world came into being, we should focus only on the "who". Anyone who wants to argue the "method" of creation should be marginalized for the sake of bringing everyone's convictions into alignment. Without additional information we cannot know for certain "how" creation and human beings came into existence. Therefore, we ought to fold up our tents and go in a different direction.

In reality, we have stopped asking and thinking in God's direction. We are asking and thinking in another direction, and we are in decline. (Eph 3:20)

#25  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Saturday, April 03, 2010at 11:52 AM

Douglass I'm not so sure that is the problem with theistic evolutionist, they would maintain that however God worked it was to his glory. The main problem as I see it is that other then the written word we do not have evidence of creation from another source that was there. R.K. Harrison seems to think that as we view the creation account, it has three different view points, one of which was on the earth as it was being created. However, that does not mean that he can be dogmatic. God was not interested in giving us all the method of creation, speaking and it being done is from the perspective of the LORD of creation. It is not ment to give us the nitty gritty, which we would probaby not understand and which we would most certianly get bogged down in. He tells us what we need to know. We know that it took his seven literal days, though he could have done it in one, or with a sentence, or a word. He chose to do it the way he did for the purpose of redemption.

#26  Posted by Mark A Smith  |  Saturday, April 03, 2010at 12:23 PM

A quote from the Grace to You authors on the "Evolution:Getting Rid of God" blog:

"Now, to be clear, no true Christian sympathizes with Darwin’s disdain for divine authority. Why then do so many Christians feel the need to acquiesce to the demands of a system with such anti-God, anti-Christian beginnings?"

You'll notice GTY has no problem accepting the Christianity of some who accept, for whatever reason, evolution. Apparently, Douglas Grogg doesn't agree.

#27  Posted by Mark A Smith  |  Saturday, April 03, 2010at 12:27 PM

To marvel a little more a creation, take a look at today's "Astronomy Picture of the Day", a good source of photos to enjoy the universe around us.

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap100403.html

#28  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Saturday, April 03, 2010at 2:16 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

http://evanevodialogue.blogspot.com/2008/07/re-evaluation-by-evangelical.html

Above is the full text linked from Biologos) which shows the following noted as a summary of Waltkes position (bold mine):

The best harmonious synthesis of the special revelation of the Bible, of the general revelation of human nature that distinguishes between right and wrong and consciously or unconsciously craves God, and of science is the theory of theistic evolution.

By “theistic evolution” I mean that the God of Israel, to bring glory to himself,

1. created all the things that are out of nothing and sustains them

2. incredibly, against the laws probability, finely tuned the essential properties of the universe to produce ADAM, who is capable of reflecting upon their origins

3. within his providence allowed the process of natural selection and of cataclysmic interventions – such as the meteor that extinguished the dinosaurs, enabling mammals to dominate the earth – to produce awe-inspiring creatures, especially ADAM

4. by direct creation made ADAM a spiritual being, an image of divine beings, for fellowship with himself by faith

5. allowed ADAM to freely choose to follow their primitive animal nature and to usurp the rule of God instead of living by faith in God, losing fellowship with their physical and spiritual Creator

6. and in his mercy chose from fallen ADAM the Israel of God, whom he regenerated by the Holy Spirit, in connection with their faith in Jesus Christ, the Second Adam, for fellowship with himself.

END

This man already denies scripture by these statements. For he claims that death reigned BEFORE the fall and that God caused that death by His providence to 'fine tune the processes' for Adam to be created. And he claims Christians have to "synthesize the Bible and Science". This is more than "theistic evolution", this is more than a mere compromise - this is an abomination. Either Gods Word is trustworthy or it isn't. There is no compromise about that. And Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 (and etc) the word Day is the same in each instance. If Adam was created in a literal day (and we know exactly how old Adam was) then the other days are literal too. If tehy claim that the other days were (perhaps) billions of years.....then they will also eventually fold on day 6 as well. I love Science and it confirms Gods Word. I do not trust science more than (or even equal to) God and we should not be 'synergizing" science with Gods revelation to us. Compromise always leade to more compromise. You compromise days 1-5, what teh big deal about compromising day 6 later on down the road (for that IS the road tehy are on). We are not to care what the wolrd thinks......those who do are awlays led away from the truth because they will not believe God. Creation is foundational to teh gospel. Theistic evolution makes a mockery of that by claiming death reigned before the fall.

Douglass Grogg on posts 22 & 23 has it absolutely right.

In Christ, Shauna

#29  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Saturday, April 03, 2010at 2:50 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

Pardon all of my typos - I do know how to spell properly!

#30  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Saturday, April 03, 2010at 4:47 PM

# 25 - Paul.

"The main problem as I see it is that other then the written word we do not have evidence of creation from another source that was there."

You think that's a "problem"?

The "theory" of evolution doesn't have any evidence at all. But we, as Christians, DO have evidence, and it seems to me that it should be enough evidence for HIS people: His Word. I don't think that's a problem. To think that God should have given us more evidence so we wouldn't look silly and "simplistic" when holding to the truth of creation, is, IMHO, in itself proud, therefore, sinful.

E.

#31  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Saturday, April 03, 2010at 7:17 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

I just read another work by Bruce Waltke (Cain and his offering: http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/OTeSources/01-Genesis/Text/Articles-Books/Waltke_Cain_WTJ.htm) whereby he concludes that an animal sacrifice was not necessary at all. The problem, he explains, is that Cains heart was not right. Had his heart been right then his vegetable sacrifice would have been just fine. Well, leaves are vegetables and God found that insufficient and gave Adam and Eve a coat of skins....apparently God did not find vegetables sufficient here as a 'covering'. Yet Waltke argues that God finds them sufficient as a sacrifice as long as your heart is right. If this is true, then why did Jesus have to die? Couldn't our problems have been solved with a (self) right (eous) heart and some Romaine? Well, no - we don't see Jesus likened to vegetables - water, bread yes.....but no veggies. Obviously this is ridiculous, but I ask.....aren't these conclusions, in light of Waltkes interpretation of scripture here, bound to be made? If mans 'right heart' and 'vegetables' is Ok think of all the theological implications this has! Gods Word tells us a persons right heart covered by the blood is what is necessary...and the heart is only right if it is covered by the blood - By Grace through faith! (thats the case in the OT & NT) Cains vegetables didn't cut it because the vegetables point to his own works not Gods requirement. Isn't this basic biblical understanding? I am sure some people feel they have been edified by this mans writings...........after reading a few, I believe I'll pass. And to make sure I'm on topic I am just pointing out the 'evolution of compromise'!

#32  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Saturday, April 03, 2010at 7:56 PM

# 10 - Fred.

Doug and Shauna put it well.

“A person can be a Christian and hold errant views of Genesis”. Nowadays, a person can be a "christian" and hold any views, it seems!! What's next? The prosperity gospel preachers are christians too? WoF? Healers? aren't they all just immature? maybe we should just give them time, yes, that's what they need, time. I remember reading about that in Jesus' dealings with the pharisees... NOT!

It's very clear that these men are not new converts and NOT simply in need of more time so they can finally believe the Word of the God they profess to follow.

E.

#33  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Saturday, April 03, 2010at 8:17 PM

Elaine, thank you for your commments. I guess that you should know that I believe the creation account from top to bottom. I have, (I hate to use the age thing), dealt with these issues for over 40 years, and many other Christians have done so for much longer then I have. I know that your desire is to stand with the Word of God, and it is plain that your desire is to exult Christ. This is my desire as well and one which Dr Waltke would ditto. I have been a Christian for over 50 years and I tell you that these issues do not get any easier. When hard issues such as evolution come up, we know where they come from, but the master deceiver always mixes in enough truth to confuse and mess with folks head. Those who deal with Achedemics in the modern world do so with people who are critical thinkers, they have been jaded just enough to be skeptical about any religion, especially Christianity, (as satan intends). When I speak with a non believer, I could simply quote a few scriptures and leave it at that. But i don't want them to end up in Hell, (and I'm not saying you do), so I work with them in the areas of science that are true and leave stuff I don't know to God's hands. For example: when the Scripture states that God made man in "His own Image" what does that mean, did he give us the specifics or His schematics so we could duplicate a man? No we do not have that information, science has made certian strides in dicovering some aspects but, we can't duplicate His method. And really why would we need to know that information? The specifics of what it means, and what processes God used when He spoke and it was done, we don't know and we don't really need. The speculations of men need to be met by the truth of the Word. I am not saying that thestic evolution is right, it is not my belief that one can know things that God has chosen to close to us. What I am saying is that we maintain what we know is true in the love of Christ.

I don't know of many Christian Evolutionist who have not been made more so by well meaning folks who do not work with them on a personal basis. When someone simply shoots verses at you, there is that competative head that comes up, they are aware of what they are taught and the scientific mind starts to work. They are not aware , oft times, of how the propaganda has worked on them.

Well it is past my bed time and my lovie tells me to break it off... Please have a Happy Resurrection Day. "He is Risen" Paul Tucker

#34  Posted by Rick White  |  Sunday, April 04, 2010at 5:07 AM

Shauna,

You are absolutely right that "Creation is foundational to the gospel". As I have posted earlier,if these men are willing to compromise on the history of the Bible to accomodate the culture,what is to stop them from compromising the morality of the Bible to accomodate the culture? I'm not saying this men have compromised morally,but what is to stop them if they are so willing to compromise the history? Obviously,Jesus had no problem with the history recorded in Genesis Matthew 19:4-6;Luke 17:26-29;Luke 24:27;John 5:45-47.

#35  Posted by Micah Marchewitz  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 1:14 AM

Hello all, I have never posted here before and do not know where to begin, Im almost leary to post some of my questions becuase it appears I might be labeled as an "unregenerate messengers of Satan" or hold "errant veiws of Genesis" and I am not certain this is the appropriate place to post some questions about creation but I will anyway and if my post is deleted or Im ignored no worries. I became a Christian about 14 months ago. I spend ALOT time studying gods word, reading commentary etc. I am by no means an evolutionist but do have questions about the earth only being 6000 years old as most commentators I have read state. I understand the bible and what it states about the earth being made in seven days (although my bible does not have the word literal in it) I do have questions about Gen 1, but the question I am going to ask feed back on is Gen 2. The whole chapter is devoted to day 6. Adams activity on the sixth day: god put him in the garden to work it and take care of it, gave him a command with respect to the trees in the garden,brought Adam all the beasts of the field and birds of the air so he could name them (hundreds or maybe even thousands of different kinds?) after naming all the animals it was observed that none of them were suitable helpers for adam so god put him to sleep, took his rib and made eve. All of this took place in a lliteral 24 hour day? How could all that be done in a literal 24 hour day? That is one of a half dozen questions about creation. I have posed this question to alot of people. The most common answer I have recieved from people who believe in the aboslute young earth theory is that adam didnt have hundreds or thousands of animals but probably only dozens which seemed like a pretty weak answer to me. Just wondering what your guys feedback is. And if your going to tell me that I am satans messenger who has not repented or whatever then your more then welcome to pass on my post, I dont think if I believe the earth is older the 6000 years old, or 20,0000 years or millions of years it makes me any less of a christian then if I disagreed with someones view on when the rapture happens. Jesus Christ is my lord and savior, I gave my life to the lord just over a year ago and am committed to studying his word and being obedient. Thanks for all the posts and the feed back. god bless

#36  Posted by Richard Carter  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 5:33 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#37  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 6:17 AM

Doug, Shauna, Elaine, and others,

Let me preface my comments by affirming the fact I believe how we understand Genesis has significant ramifications on how we understand the rest of the Bible, how we do gospel apologetics and evangelism, and how we engage our culture at large.  I would be the first one to confront any synchronistic compromise on behalf of believers who want to weave our understanding of the creation week as outlined in Genesis 1 and 2 with evolutionary deep time ideas. The Christian's handling of Genesis is majorly important, hence the reason why Grace to You has chosen to do a series of blog articles on the topic.

Now, with that stated, to begin our criticisms of our opponents who have an alternative view of Genesis by calling them unregenerate, is way over the top and treading in areas of judgment where we do not have the full knowledge to tread.  I hope you all, particular Doug, understand the seriousness of accusing someone of being "unregenerate."  To call someone unregenerate cannot be a flippant accusation made so lightly.  When we say a person is "unregenerate" we are in essence saying a person is unsaved and guilty of hell fire, and that is a rather heart sobering accusation to make against another person who says he names Christ as his Lord.  It is an accusation that should never be made in haste but after much reflection and confrontation with the person. 

In all honesty, there is an ungracious spirit with your all's words.  In fact, many of the comments smack of the sort of bigoted fundamentalism that regrettably turns people away from hearing the truth or even desiring to discuss the issues. Note, for example, the comments under #35 made by a commenter named Micah.  This kind of rhetoric should not be.  One of the first objectives we must pursue when we offer a defense of the faith (and this would include defending the proper understanding of Genesis), is to offer our response with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15).  Immediately labeling a person an unregenerate hell bound sinner is not responding with meekness and fear. 

We have no knowledge as to why a man like Bruce Waltke takes the view that he does on Genesis.  There could be an number of reasons why people gravitate toward compromised views of Genesis and embrace theistic evolution and progressive creationism.  Perhaps they don't understand the implications of their position, or maybe they are ignorant of the evidence against evolutionary Darwinianism.  My experience with engaging theistic evolutionists and progressive creationists is that they believe the so called evidence for long ages and evolution is undeniable; that it is self-defining in its scope.  In other words, that all so-called scientific evidence is what it is and if we don't believe what science tells us about the evidence, we are denying truth.   Thus, these men don't want to challenge the "evidence" because they believe they are unqualified to do so, plus, it is denying reality.  In their thinking, to be a Christian faithful to truth, they must re-consider how we understand Genesis in light of these "facts."

Whatever, the case, as much as I would be the first to say such ideas are gross error and these people need to review their positions, saying a man is in error is a far distance from saying his beliefs are a product of an unregenerate heart.  Believe me, Bruce Waltke is just one notable evangelical who holds to this position on Genesis.  Other men did as well, sadly.  Fine men like the late James Montgomery Boice, E.J. Young, and Francis Schaeffer, to name a few.  Are these individuals as equally unregenerate in your all's book? 

I truly hope you all reconsider the rhetoric you utilize when engaging this discussion with others who may disagree with you sharply.  Certainly their views may stem from an unregenerate heart, but that is not everyone for sure, and it shouldn't be the first thing we conclude about them.

Fred

 

#38  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 6:28 AM

Micah writes,

I am by no means an evolutionist but do have questions about the earth only being 6000 years old as most commentators I have read state.

Sadly, most commentators do not take that position.  Of the major works of Genesis, there are a rare few that do take such a position on the age of the earth.  We do so for a number of reasons which I would be happy to explain if you wish.

Micah asks,

...All of this took place in a literal 24 hour day? How could all that be done in a literal 24 hour day?

Generally, when people think of Adam naming the animals, they are thinking of every species we see today.  This is not the case.  More than likely it was the animals in Adam's immediate vicinity, those animals that inhabited the garden.  Additionally, keep in mind that God created kinds.  Out of those kinds came all the variations of species we see today.  The original kinds may not had been that many. Then lastly, I would point out that the reason God paraded the animals before Adam was not that he would just name them, but to show him his uniqueness and how no help meet would ever be found among the animals, but that help meet would need to be one like him.

Here are a couple of articles for you to consider:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2002/1112animals.asp

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v3/n4/bara-what

Now you seem to think such an answer is a weak one, but you need to explain why.  Why is it a "weak answer" to say Adam only named a relatively few number of animals?

 

Fred

#39  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 7:02 AM

This responce is for Micah M.

If you were Adam how would you organize such a day? Would you name each individual animal, or would you start with larger groups? What an atheist assumes is that it can not be done, so the defence of that assumption begans at that point. As Christians we trust the Word to reflect the truth, we are not opposed to difficulties, they tend to strenghten our faith, we are not opposed to paradox (which often means that the answers are there but we have missed something). The issues regarding the first three chapters of Genesis are in a class by themselves. Things such as where did Cain get his wife, and questions of that nature are "red herrings" based again upon the assumption of the Athiest/Agnostic that there is not being like God who could do what he has told us he has done. Athiest/Agnostic beliefs (much like religious dogma) follow basic lines of thought, evolution is their only recourse for the earth's beginning. Thank you for taking the time to use this blog, I'm sure there are alot of other bloggers who will have good approaches to these issues. So "take and read", but always trust what God says, he will not steer you wrong.

#40  Posted by Michial Brown  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 8:36 AM

This should come as a clarion call to all of us to be steadfast, as our enemy the Devil roam about like a lion, seeking whom he may devour. Let us never say we could never devolve in our faithful exegesis of scripture. We must be diligent in handling the Word of Truth. This is a spiritual battle and the word of God is the Sword of the Spirit. Let us praise God for blogs like this one and teachers like Macarthur and others who dare to stand alone upon the Rock. I encourage you to follow them and our Lord above all, who when met by the Tempter answered, "It is written" Let the scholars and the wise of this world mock and belittle us for our naivete, but we will stand upon eternal truth, not the passing flatteries of men. Let the so called christians who wish to endear themselves to the wisdom of this world take note and repent for they shall give an account. Peter warned let not many of you be teachers. Repent and believe.

#41  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 9:42 AM

*Shauna Bryant*

Fred #37,

First of all, I never began a single post or referenced a single post that began that way. Nonetheless, I do still, even after reading your post (and I generally enjoy your posts), stand by everything I wrote and referenced. And as for the misinformation some have had from not reading all the way through and their own new (yet suprisingly educated on OEC/Evolution Vs YEC) biblical views and fear of being called names..... I have seen too many posts like that to make a comment.

Secondly, what do you suggest we say then, that what God said in the very first chapters of His Word are up for "interpretation"? Yea hath God really said.........?(Gen. 3:1) And what symbols and analogies do I use to back up any interpretation one comes up with since "In the Beginning" there were none as there are later on in Gods Word.

Fred, you said my words were ungracious..........how? You used far too broad a brush in your post I believe. I was discussing a man, one who proposes to be a learned scholar of Gods word and to teach others, yet in reading paper after paper of his, I was shocked. As I said before - many people claim to have been edified by this man and I would not be one of them. As mentioned regarding this mans writings on Cain.....he doesn't even grasp that. Now what do we say about a teacher of Gods Word who claims that your heart being right your way is what that God requires? Since he also claims to be reformed, how does that fit? It doesn't - it provides holes or as they say 'opportunities for discusssion for common ground'. But that is in fact the case he makes: Having a right heart is Gods requirement. Why most of the world will espouse that belief and I'm sure you would agree that most of the world is not Christian. In fact, most of so called Christianity is not Christian. I'll even say (since research backs it up) that many Pastors today aren't even Christian. That goes too for Professors of theology. It's almost funny - these people act like the Pharisees of old - what with all of their 'learnedness' and worldly wisdom which they are so proud of. And the people who actually believe God and defend that belief are the ones called "fundamentalists". That word is used for any group who has a 'strict adherence to a set of beliefs'. Funny, we're just Christians, but it has been a great way for the world to marganilze those who really believe Gods Word. But it didn't work when they tried it on the early Chrisians and it won't work now.

I was listening to a wonderful Sermon by JMacArthur about why the early Christians were killed....and all because they wouldn't agree to compromise on one tiny little word.....they wouldn't change the word 'The' to 'a' and for that extreme adherence to their faith (often called fundamentalism today) they were impaled and burned as torches. And yet people propose we compromise on whole chapters, theological concepts and more today in order to commune more closely with the world and professing Christians yet those who don't are being labeled as fundamentalists. The persecution of Christians we see in other parts of the world is coming to our Peaceful America (it is already spiritually here). It will be done in the name of Peace (oh those troublesome non compromisers!) The 'fundamentalists' will be targeted - but no doubt the compromisers will be spared. The world worries not about the compromisers. They can be 'brought along further...eventually'. Interesting eh?

Shauna

PS this is the dictionary definition of fundamentalist:

Noun. A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.

Adj. the rational and systematic study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truth

#42  Posted by Josué Morissette  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 11:07 AM

I don't know where the debate as turned around and had us believers defend our position when it is in fact the evolutionist that need to prove a theory that has and will never have any legs to stand on. I don't get the argument that says that because god doesn't have lungs he can't breate. God created lungs, he doesn't need them to breate, like he didn't lungs, a mouth, a tongue, etc. to speak to Moses and other people. I'm sometimes, although less and less, surprise at how blinding sin can be. They should be defending their position trying to prove it somehow, but they're not. People have such an overwhelming desire to eliminate God somehow, that they are ready to beleive anything. People calling themselves Christians should remember that the sole aim of Darwin before he came up with this theory, was to eliminate God. Thus embracing the theory of evolution to any and all degree is to participate in the original goal of evolution, that is eliminating the need for a creator God and therefore eliminating everything attached to God. Any kind of acceptance of evolution is a rejection of God, you either believe everything God said or none of it, you can't pick and choose what you like and reject what you don't like. Always remember Hebrews 11:3

#43  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 11:21 AM

Regarding anathematizing those who deny a literal 6-day creation, here is something to think about. There are many issues and doctrines that since the 1st century have been declared heresy by church councils. But Genesis 1 was never an issue (that I've ever heard) that received attention in this way.

This is not because there was complete universal acceptance of a 6-day creation until Darwin. Theistic Evolutionists like to point out that there are some big names in early church history that did not believe in a 6-day creation. If I remember correctly Augustine was one of those. However if I remember correctly he believed that God created everything instantaneously. Of course that does nothing to promote modern scientific ideas, but evolutionists have used that to try to undermine the argument that 6-day creation is a longstanding universal belief.

The point (poorly made, I know) is simply this: it is not the case that a literal 6-day interpretation of Genesis 1 was universally understood and believed throughout church history until Darwin. At the same time the issue was never brought to the level of other heresies. That doesn't mean it isn't a big deal, but it should temper our quick judgments about those who deny a 6-day creation.

While I recognize and share the concern about the biblical implications of denying a 6-day creation, realize that so do theistic evolutionists. That is why they try to do gymnastics to maintain other critical biblical issues (as we've seen in these videos). We can judge whether or not they are successful in that endeavor, but we should at least recognize that they are trying to reconcile their compromise in Gen. 1 with the rest of Scripture thereby recongizing the implications of their decisions.

Until the theistic evolutionist explicitly denies the gospel and other critical elements that serve as the foundation for the gospel, we should seek to win our professing brothers to increasing biblical fidelity rather than anathematize them immediately.

#44  Posted by Ken Lane  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 12:16 PM

An interesting review of Genesis 1:1 - 2:3 can be found in Chapter 10 "A Proper Reading of Genesis 1:1 - 2:3" by Steven Boyd, Professor of Biblical Hebrew, The Master's College, in the book "Thousands Not Billions", Author Dr. Don DeYoung, which is a layman's version of the ICR book "Radioisotopes and the age of the Earth, vol II".

#45  Posted by Michial Brown  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 12:41 PM

Until the theistic evolutionist explicitly denies the gospel and other critical elements that serve as the foundation for the gospel, we should seek to win our professing brothers to increasing biblical fidelity rather than anathematize them immediately.

How does one retain the gospel since the gospel is dependent upon the bad news of the fall found in Genesis 3? Perhaps the logical conclusion and parallel of Romans 5 with Adam/Christ can be seen as to show a non literal second Adam and atonement? Not far from their dangerous position.

#46  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 1:05 PM

Michial, your question is one that theistic evolutionists have had to grapple with and come up with their own explanations. It is that kind of question that must be asked to help people see the inconsistency and implications of their view.

As Longman openly admitted in the second video of his above, he hasn't resolved this particular issue in his mind and he still has questions on how a non-historical Adam fits with the rest of Scripture. This clearly shows that he understands there are significant implications to his adoption of evolution. Why those serious biblical implications have less weight than unprovable theories of science would be a good question to ask him.

#47  Posted by Michial Brown  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 2:22 PM

Iam sure they will have another tautological twist on the subject. Foisting unjusitified linguistics and presuppositional frameworks over the text is quite respectable these days. Since the days of the higher critics we unfortunately are forced to go round and round with these folk, knowing all the while no matter what we reply the emperor to them is still lavishly clothed. The solution for them in most cases requires the Spirit's illumination. The problem with so much of this is as history has shown us is that these inroads rarely find peace in the corner, but like a cancer they slowly erode the entire body and choke out all life. The churches that adopted these cancerous doctrines decades ago are now nothing more than kiwanis groups with robes and stained glass. The goal of Satan in the garden wasnt a debate over the trivialities of trees and fruit, but it was to cast doubt upon the word and reliability of God and thus bring death. A denial of a literal creation/fall will ultimately in one way or another down the line call into question the gospel/re-creation. The text is all linked together.

#48  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Tuesday, April 06, 2010at 8:29 AM

Readers may appreciate this review of the work of Biologos, the web group putting together these various videos.

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2010/04/biologomachy.html

#49  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Tuesday, April 06, 2010at 10:08 AM

Shauna writes,

First of all, I never began a single post or referenced a single post that began that way.

And I never said you did.  My post addressed a group of commenters and others who may hold similar sentiments yet did not express them with leaving a comment.  The general tone of the comments I was addressing assumes the reason why all evangelicals who hold to compromised, OE views of Genesis has to do with the fact they are unregenerate, or unsaved to begin with. 

continuing,

... what do you suggest we say then, that what God said in the very first chapters of His Word are up for "interpretation"?

No. I suggest you refute the opposition by answering their claims and pressing them to defend their convictions of the text.  Make them defend their "interpretation" from a proper study of scripture, and science for that matter, and then demonstrate how it is wrong if need be.  That approach is a sharp distinction, however, between refuting error and assuming the person believes these things because they are "unregenerate."

 

Fred, you said my words were ungracious..........how?

Again, it may not have been specifically your words, but you were in agreement with the notion a man like Bruce Waltke believed what he did about Genesis (and Cain's sacrifice), because he is unregenerate.  That is being a bit ungracious.  You went on to write,

I was discussing a man, one who proposes to be a learned scholar of Gods word and to teach others, yet in reading paper after paper of his, I was shocked. As I said before - many people claim to have been edified by this man and I would not be one of them. As mentioned regarding this mans writings on Cain.....he doesn't even grasp that.

Waltke's position on why Cain's sacrifice was rejected is not unique to a theistic evolutionary view of Genesis.  It is a view held by many sound preachers and teachers.  You note in conclusion to Waltke's view of Cain that, Now what do we say about a teacher of Gods Word who claims that your heart being right your way is what that God requires?  Glancing over the article, I would say that wasn't exactly what he meant. There was much more exegesis to his argument than just saying we can work our way to God.  You may disagree with his conclusions regarding Cain, but there was nothing particularly unorthodox or suspicious about his views that would warrant Dr. Waltke to be labeled untrustworthy with the particular subject of Cain and Abel's sacrifices.

As to the dictionary definition of "fundamentalism", that is an appropriate definition within the right context.  Fundamentalism has regrettably left becoming a movement of believers who adhere to the core truths of biblical Christianity, to meaning a group of narrow minded individuals united (or divided) around self defined lists of moral issues and personal preferences which are equated to being genuinely spirituality.   These groups of "funadmentalists" are marked by an attitude often displayed with harsh dogmatism against those with whom they disagree even to the point of questioning the oppositions' love for God and orthodoxy of doctrine and insisting we must shun such individuals. 

It is not helpful for the cause of biblical creationism to automatically assume all those disagreeing with our view of Genesis are unregenerate unbelievers.  Like I wrote, there could be many reasons why they hold to such views and a God honoring response is to avoid accusing them of unregenerate hearts and challenge them as to why they believe what they believe in light of God's Word.

 

Fred

 

#50  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Tuesday, April 06, 2010at 10:57 AM

I suppose I should say something, since I agreed with Shauna and Doug. And if you let me, I will quote someone. These below are part of the same sermon, and I was careful as to make sure I didn't take them out of context. I will provide links so you can check it yourself, if you wish. This sermon is part of the Romans series:

"You know ah, years ago Christians decided they had to believe in evolution, because they wereintimidated by the philosophers who taught evolution. And so immediately they looked for places in the Christian system where you could put evolution, and "we still believe in creation and God started it and then evolution took over", and they came up with what is known as quote, unquote theistic evolution or progressive creationism. And it was an accommodation because people were intimidated by the rationalization of a whole fools who didn't know the truth anyway."

Yes, I believe those who hold to a theist evolution are fools. And the bible talks a lot about fools and their blindness, their not being able to understand and discern.

The sermon ends with a prayer:

"Lord we feel that we are grappling with some rich, deep, profound eternal truths, and this is not man's wisdom, this is Your wisdom. How exciting to be able to get a grasp on why the world is the way it is. We know sometimes the rationalization is very sophisticated at the university level, sometimes it's very simplistic as every little individual man and woman who rejects You has to rationalize in their own mind that they're right at their own level. Be it ever so uncomplicated and simplistic. We know that man who will not accept the revelation, who enters into rejection must also enter into rationalization; he's got to live with the fact that he's right and so the world is filled with a fantasy.God help us to break through this world of fools, we who once were fools as well. May we be not so quick to condemn knowing that we too would be fools but for Your grace, as we are to reach out to them, to give them the truth. God help us to shine a little light into their darkness so that the glorious light of Jesus Christ may burst upon them. May we not come to the place where we simply isolate ourselves as those who are the know-it-alls but may we in humility know that were it not for Your tender grace and mercy we would be as ignorant as the rest. And in deep gratitude and adoration and thanksgiving may we go to this darkened world, as Jesus came to bring the light, that the darkness may flee away and out of the complexities of their rationalizations they may enter into the simplicity of Christ, and the light of the glorious Gospel which is so basic, so easy to understand that even a child can know.We would pray tonight for any dear ones in our midst who are still in the darkness, may they seeChrist in all His glory and not continue the course that inevitably ends in the wrath of God. For Jesus' sake we pray. Amen."

I pray for all those teachers/leaders who in a small or big way twist and change the Word of our God. I believe they are still in darkness, and until they stick to their own wisdom and don't embrace the Truth, they will always be in darkness. Evolution is not a secondary issue, it's not a lesser issue than the Gospel itself. I pray for myself too, as the preacher above wisely says: "May we be not so quick to condemn knowing that we too would be fools but for Your grace, as we are to reach out to them, to give them the truth."

It's a sermon by John MacArthur, Reasons for the wrath of God, part 3. I wasn't looking for it to post here, it just happened that I am going through the sermon series on Romans and this is the one that I just finished listening/reading:

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/45-12_Reasons-for-the-Wrath-of-God-Part-3?q=45+12

Grace and Peace,

E.

#52  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Tuesday, April 06, 2010at 4:54 PM

As a TOTAL layman with regard to science, I asked a co-worker who is a research scientist about methods of proof. My layman’s question is: Doesn’t science also use a process of “disproving” in order to “rule out”? Such as: medical doctors run specific tests to “rule out” specific disease/diagnosis. They say, “We know it can’t be A, B, or C, because we’ve ruled those out.” So has the Christian scientific aspect ever approached evolution that way? For instance, it may be hard for us to PROVE there is a God, but on the other hand, it would be hard for evolutionists to PROVE there ISN’T a God! From a Christian standpoint, or at least my layman’s viewpoint, I think it is easier to “rule out” evolution because of things like:

· The lack of partially-evolved people (Lucy & all the others have been proven to be pig bones & such, all hoaxes, some intentional, others misinterpreted.) With their argument for millions of years for the process to take place, there should be millions of examples out there to find, yet there are none.

· What about the 2nd law of Thermodynamics: Entropy? The whole concept of things coming together into more ordered or complex structures just ISN’T LOGICAL. We don’t see that anywhere.

· And what about space, matter, energy,...? Scientists cannot create ANYTHING from Nothing. So where did it all come from??

I just find evolution to be so much harder to believe than that there is a loving God Who created everything! He designed it! I reserve the word AWESOME for Him & His creation! Nothing can compare!

#53  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Tuesday, April 06, 2010at 10:32 PM

Fred #37

“One of the first objectives we must pursue when we offer a defense of the faith (and this would include defending the proper understanding of Genesis), is to offer our response with meekness and fear ( 1Peter 3:15). Immediately labeling a person an unregenerate hell bound sinner is not responding with meekness and fear.”

The context of 1 Peter 3:15 is in regards to when someone comes to us and asks us to explain to them the hope (salvation with its anticipation of eternal glory) that is within us. In the context it is apparent that God is doing a work within them. They know that there is something quite unnatural about us and that it is something that they do not possess. In such a context gentleness and Godly fear is the only appropriate response. Not so in the context of false teachers, and those who would rob God of His majesty for the acceptance of those whom God has declared to be without excuse (see Romans 1: 20) and for whom God declares that His wrath is revealed from heaven against (see Romans 1:18) because they do not glorify Him as God the Creator (see James 4:4). Such meekness dishonors the One for whom we represent as ambassadors. God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Opposed in the Greek is a military term which means to line up against.

Can you imagine being an ambassador of a majestic nation having been sent to a nation that is being “lined up against” and going to them with meekness and gentleness? Preposterous! No! With boldness you declare to them the terms of surrender and warn them of the dire consequences of resistance, unless of course you desire their destruction. Such techniques may be fine for getting someone to “make a decision for Christ” but will never bring someone to the end of self that they might flee to Christ for mercy. No one can be saved by adding Jesus to self (see Matthew 16:24-26). One who is “poor in spirit” has renounced self and comes to Christ seeking mercy. They alone will find mercy and that mercy will be “new” (fresh) every morning.

A word about being content and rising up when God is dishonoured; “Those who are content in a natural way overcome themselves when outward afflictions befall them and are content. They are just as content when they sin against God. When they have outward crosses or when God is dishonoured, it is all one to them; whether they themselves are crossed or whether God is crossed. But a gracious heart that is contented with its own affliction, will rise up strongly when God is dishonoured.” Quoted from “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment” by Jeremiah Burroughs - His Unworthy Slave

#54  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 12:30 AM

I think it is appropriate to consider how we would respond to a person face-to-face in this situation. If you knew Dr. Waltke and the great amount of benefit he has been to the body of Christ through many contributions, and you were to be able to speak with him one on one, would you go straight to telling him that he is an unregenerate hell bound sinner, or would you use a different, perhaps more gracious, approach?

While Scripture does call us to make judgments, we must be slow to make such judgments of one's salvation. Realize that Dr. Waltke, as much as many of us would severely disagree with his interpretation of Genesis, is not denying God, the deity of Christ, substitutionary atonement, or any fundamental Christian doctrine.

Yes, denying a literal interpretation of Genesis creates problems for many fundamental issues, but Dr. Waltke (and many others in his position) attempt to resolve those problems in other ways. We all do the same thing in other areas. No one has 100% correct doctrine because we are all fallible and limited in our capacity and in our ability to study everything as thoroughly as it deserves.

If you study church history, one of the first lessons you learn is how messed up most (or all) of the "greats" were in their theology. Yet we must recognize that the Lord is gracious. If He marked iniquity who could stand? We should seek to be gracious until there is a clear denial of the fundamental truths of the gospel.

It is one thing to publically call someone out on error, it is another thing to condemn them.

#55  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 6:02 AM

Wow! Travis couldn’t have been more right when he said, “Buckle up, this is going to be a wild & bumpy ride”! Reviewing his introduction to this discussion on Creation vs. Evolution, he said, “We’re making the case that how God brought everything into existence is just as important as the bare fact that He did it”, “...dealing with the question of origins… It’s not enough to say, “God is responsible for all that exists, but how it all got here isn’t important.”…” the issue of origins is one of the most important battlegrounds of our day…the consequences of the position you take, and your role in defending what God has to say about it…This is ultimately a spiritual battle between competing worldviews…evolution is atheistic and anti-Christian…apart from its demonic theology, the social and cultural effects of evolutionary theory reveal the fingerprints of demons who hate the image of God in men and women…Many evangelicals have surrendered serious biblical ground on origins to the secular establishment, hoping for a greater degree of academic respectability…undermining Christian evangelism and the gospel of the cross.” “We’ll start by looking at the threat of evolution and consider some of its devastating effects.”

I believe that’s exactly what’s happening here. The “devastating effects” of men like Waltke saying (& teaching future pastors) things like "I believe that creation by the process of evolution is a tenable Biblical position” IS “undermining Christian evangelism and the gospel.” An earlier blog questioned Billy Graham’s faith when he said he believed non-Christians would go to heaven. There are “consequences to the positions we take”, and this is an excellent examination for ourselves and others to do as Paul said in 2 Cor. 10:5, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

#56  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 6:19 AM

I can’t help but question WHY a learned-Christian man would compromise his views of Scriptural integrity? That old saying, “Follow the money” reminds me to question, “WHY” someone is taking the position that he is. Example: scientifically, why does one study ‘CONCLUDE” that caffiene is unhealthy for you, while 10 years later, another scientific study CONCLUDES that it has many beneficial properties?! So I question, “WHO funded the study?” Likewise, I question the CONCLUSIONS made by the scientific community. What is their agenda? What do they have to gain from their conclusions? (No God? =>No Laws! No Authority over self!)

People here are questioning this man’s faith because someone who CLAIMS to be a mature Christian, (well-educated in Scripture, yet he discards portions of God’s word as irrelevant or in error,) CAN’T POSSIBLY have FAITH which moves mountains! Hebrews 11: “By Faith Moses, By Faith Abraham, By Faith Rahab, By Faith Abel,…” We might question his faith. We might question his education (WHO TAUGHT HIM THAT?!) We might question his agenda? This is critical thinking at its best!

#57  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 7:09 AM

Carol #52, writes:

· The lack of partially-evolved people (Lucy & all the others have been proven to be pig bones & such, all hoaxes, some intentional, others misinterpreted.) With their argument for millions of years for the process to take place, there should be millions of examples out there to find, yet there are none.

· What about the 2nd law of Thermodynamics: Entropy? The whole concept of things coming together into more ordered or complex structures just ISN’T LOGICAL. We don’t see that anywhere.

These are probably not the best arguments to use in discussions with evolutionists. Though there have certainly been a number of evolutionary hoaxes over the decades, Piltdown man comes to mind, most of the true debate centers around genuine remains.  Lucy, for example, is not a hoax.  Now, it must be kept in mind it is the skelton of a primate, not a human, but it's a real thing.  Also, be alert that evolutionists have a response to the 2nd law of thermodynamics line of argument.  As long as there is energy coming into a system, the 2nd law remains unafffected.  The sun, evolutionists claim, is the energy source coming into our system.  See this article from the National Center of Science Education, a group of atheists pretending to be scientists, in order to get a handle on what they argue:

http://ncse.com/rncse/25/5-6/creationism-laws-thermodynamics

Of course, their argument does not take into consideration the genetic information an organism needs in order to evolve.  All the energy the sun could ever produce doesn't organize genetic information in a manner necessary to great life. 

Anyhow, a good little article for us to consider is called Arguments Creationists Should Not Use:

http://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use

Fred

#58  Posted by Michial Brown  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 7:44 AM

Obviously nobody here is damning any of these gentlemen to hell for their errors regarding creation. Only God can. However God has associated the keys of the kingdom to the church in relation to the Gospel. Those who reject Christ and His atonement can rightly be warned of eternal punishment. This issue of creation and really the entire pericope of Adam and the fall is being categorized away from historical narrative to a stereotypical and poetical genre. The reason this is coming close to anathema is the hinge of the gospel does touch upon the facts of the creation and fall of the first Adam. Christ is the second Adam and if one declares the account of the first Adam is not historical narrative then there is nothing "in the text" using their arguements, to prohibit the second Adam from being a cultural linguistic by-product as well, and not to be taken "literally". This is even more troubling because the New Testament writers, and our Lord Himself had no issues with the creation/fall account, and it is used as the backdrop for the redemption and re-creation in Christ. So can we say these folk are unregenerate for a fact, no but this is not the fruit of faith either. A servant is not greater than his Master. If the Master believed the creation/fall account as a literal historical fact and came into the world to recreate and redeem from the fall, it is dangerous position these men are taking. It is an inevitable inroad to use linguistics, literary and genre theory to disprove even our Lord and His claims to deity as a cultural by-product of naive 1st century notions or cosmology and metaphysics, since "so-called science" today disproves such fantasies. Where will it stop I tell you. It is sad to see such once stalwarts of the faith now (at least in these area) becoming blind, and leading the blind.

#59  Posted by Andy Bailey  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 7:47 AM

Fred Comment #57

Carol Comment #52

The Second Law of Thermodynamics still holds true. Yes, some will argue that the sun is adding energy to the earth (and yes, it is true), but any energy that is not properly harnessed is destructive! For instance, if I needed to clean my bedroom and make it orderly, I need to add energy to it in an orderly fashion. I pick clothes up off the floor, I dust, vaccuum, wash walls, make my bed, etc.

I could also add energy to my room by tossing in a hand grenade, but the uncontrolled energy will always damage and destroy. It will never be helpful! Energy always requires intelligent input and control to be helpful.

#60  Posted by Mark A Smith  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 8:12 AM

Also be aware of a few other issues---

As any one who is a physicsist will recognize, the 2nd Law of thermodynamics is a tricky thing. I took 3 classes on thermodynamics/statistical mechanics, and after each class I felt less confident about understanding "entropy" than I did when I started. Realize entropy is NOT the simple idea of "disorder" or "order". That was the initial idea when it was discovered in the early 1800s, but the development of statistical mechanics showed entropy is the NUMBER OF ACCESSIBLE ENERGY STATES OF A SYSTEM. Hence, the 2nd law of thermodynamics observes that any physical process must increase or keep the same the NUMBER OF ACCESSIBLE ENERGY STATES FOR A SYSTEM. Note this is NOT the same thing as saying "things break apart" or "complex things get simpler"...SOMETIMES, complex things CAN develop from simpler things IF the number of ACCESSIBLE ENERGY STATES increases...

ALSO, evolution is NOT about chance...this is the code word for many creationists, but it is NOT accurate. Evolutionary theory is based on the idea that environmental PRESSURES cause certain mutations to be advantageous over others. Thus creatures with these advantageous mutations survive "better" than those without it. Strictly speaking this is NOT "chance" but the environment causing the change...see the difference.

ALSO, be aware that the above is kind of the "old" view of evolution. Many modern evolutionists are moving toward something like PUNCTUATED EQULIBRIUM. This is the idea that for a long period of time, there are little or no changes in the species, then something dramatic happens (supernova, climate change, asteroid impact etc..) that radically changes the environment, and then there is DRAMATIC AND RAPID change in species. This is different from the old view of slow and steady change over time...

#61  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 8:27 AM

Mark,

Very well stated,

You note:

ALSO, evolution is NOT about chance...this is the code word for many creationists, but it is NOT accurate. Evolutionary theory is based on the idea that environmental PRESSURES cause certain mutations to be advantageous over others.

Wouldn't those environmental pressures be considered chance?  Basically the idea of unpredictable and unexpected that radically change things in a fashion not seen before.

Fred

#62  Posted by Mark A Smith  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 8:32 AM

Fred, I know what you are saying, and I agree to an extent. But IF you are talking to a person who accepts evolution AND actually understands a little about the science of it, using the word "chance" will put up a major "roadblock". I try to avoid using the word when discussing it...

#63  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 11:16 AM

to Mark Smith. Thanks for yor insight. I tend to think that just because semantics of an arguement change it does not make it any less of a barrier. To make complex staements inorder to rationalize a basic issues such as entrophy do not make the possibilities more probable. While the truth regarding the 'ENERGY" systems may reflect a portion of the truth regarding entrophy. The issue of the spread of available energy and the coelesence of energy into unuseable packets is really the issue. Less usable energy equals the issue and problem for punctuated anything. Current thought of "recycled energy" does not mean that that the energy is anyless usable.

#64  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 12:42 PM

I have to say this, I feel completely and utterly dumb. Nothing against all the scientific and fancy talk, but for the life of me I cannot understand any of it. This dicussion does feel intimidating sometimes.

Can someone please have mercy on me, a woman of a simple mind, and tell me in simple words what to say to someone (not a Christian) who comes to you saying that they believe in evolution, other than "it's in the Bible, therefore I believe" or all this science jargon that simple people like me can't understand? thank you!

Grace and Peace,

E.

#65  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 1:35 PM

Elaine,

I understand your position. Quite frankly, it is a waste of time to debate evolution with an unbeliever. What they need most is the gospel. But, what you can do is use the concept of evolution to get into the gospel. How?

Evolution tries to explain how everything came into the state it is right now. It tries to explain the development of species, the expansion of the universe, the development of geographical features on earth, etc. Well you can start there and simply ask the person, "Have you ever wondered where all this matter came from? If what the scientists say is true about how all life developed from a single cell, have you ever wondered where that cell came from?"

Their answer will determine the path to the gospel, but it shouldn't be very difficult to get to God as Creator of the universe, Revealer of Himself, and so on.

But, we must remember 1 Corinthians 1:18. Too often we get discouraged that we didn't convince someone. We don't need to be an expert in science and refute the scientific evidence for evolution. We just need to know the gospel and allow the Spirit to work through His Word.

#66  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 1:45 PM

Gabriel. Thanks for your reply. My intention is not to debate with an unbeliever. But we sometimes get that question from them, and we should not dismiss it. It actually happened to me with a non-believer friend, and I did my best as to take that issue back to the creation and the God of the bible and the Gospel. I know I cannot convince anyone, I just pray as I go, trusting that the Spirit will do His work.

thanks again,

God bless,

E.

#67  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 1:46 PM

Dear Elaine:

Is there a club we can join? I'm with you, but I am really enjoying the conversation. I feel if God said it in His word, it is good enough for me. Why try to argue with the Creator? Not saying anyone here is, though. We are born curious, so to wonder is natural for us. I think men, specfically, want to know the mechanics of something more so then women, women are just content to get in the car and drive, trusting in the mechanics. I hope I don't get angry mail over this one because this is not ALWAYS a gender thing. OUCH! Please be kind.

I like these Scripture verses: "Through FAITH we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (Heb 11:3.

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20)."

Keep up the excellent comments, and ignore mine. LOL!

#68  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 1:47 PM

Elaine, let me offer this as well and hopefully it will be helpful.

The unbelieving evolutionists want to argue against creation from the atheistic worldview. All you need to do, if they want to argue, is try to get them to shift worldview temporarily and get them to wear your shoes for a bit to see where you were coming from.

For example, you could say, "I understand why you don't believe in creation... you don't believe in the God of the Bible so there really isn't any reason for you to believe what the Bible says. However, try to put yourself in a different frame of mind. What if there was a God? What if this God was eternal, self-sufficient, and could do anything. What if this eternal all-powerful God chose to create a universe and tell that creation how he did it? Could this God who created language also communicate to all people in all cultures and languages how he made it?"

If you accept those premises, then creation is quite easy to understand and believe. If you reject them, then its all foolishness. The point in having this kind of a discussion is not to win someone over necessarily, but rather to help them understand where you are coming from.

The atheistic evolutionist has to accept irrationally the eternality of matter. The Christian accepts the eternality of God and His testimony (Scripture). Both are a matter of faith, though us Christians definitely think eternal matter requires more faith because it has way more unanswered questions and unresolved problems.

#69  Posted by Lois Dimitre  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 6:55 PM

Elaine, one of your comments reminded me of something. I hope you don't mind me using it to expand on a point, with following comments not directed at any poster here, but rather what frequently occurs in the creation v evolution debate. What I find most troubling is when this comes at you from a theistic evolutionist/progressive creationist (TE/PC). It can happen regardless of your level of scientific understanding, believe me, I've experienced it more than a few times with colleagues, and unfortunately one pastor we knew years ago.

You wrote: This discussion does feel intimidating sometimes."

A feeling of intimidation is often the response from what is aptly described (in my opinion) by Dr. Donald E. Chittick, PhD Physical Chemistry, as the result of "intellectual bullying". Dr. Chittick is a Christian, creationist (ex-exolutionist, btw), scientist and author who wrote an excellent book you may have already read ~ "The Controversy - Roots of the Creation-Evolution Conflict". I snatched up the book when it was "hot off the press" in 1984. I love this book :) Don't know it it's still in print, but it's worth searching for a copy. He writes on page 121 under "Challenging the Absolute Standard":

--"Evolutionists are fond of referring to their own world view as scientific and to that of the Bible as religious. By this they intend to convey the idea that their view is more intellectually respectable than the opposing view. It is an example of intellectual bullying. Evolution begins on the same basis as any other view. It begins with faith in a set of beginning assumptions, just as any other view does."--

Dr. Chittick suggests our response should be along the same lines as exactly what you said you did, Elaine, and that was:

"...I [Elaine] did my best as to take that issue back to the creation and the God of the bible and the Gospel..."

To bring this issue to its point of "irreducible complexity", so to speak, that's what it really is all about. It's based on those presuppositions we all bring 'to the table' - we either believe in that "Absolute Standard", or we've compromised with some humanistic margin of error or standard deviation.

#70  Posted by Lois Dimitre  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 7:13 PM

Regarding Dr. Waltke's work (white paper, BioLogos stuff, the video, Statement of Clarification, etc.) - something seemed vaguely familiar with what he was saying about the "process of evolution" being different that the philosophy of evolutionism (paraphrased). Somewhere along the line I had read about an earlier "reputable scholar" that promoted this, so I did a search. Lo and behold, Dr. Waltke's words mirror that of *Lyman Abbott, who wrote the book **The Theology of an Evolutionist"

*Christian Responses to Charles Darwin, 1870 - 1900 http://www.library.yale.edu/div/exhibits/Darwin.htm - An exhibit at the Yale Divinity School Library Feb - June 2009 (scroll through to Lyman Abbott (1835-1922)

**The Theology of an Evolutionist" - http://www.archive.org/stream/theologyanevolu00abbogoog/theologyanevolu00abbogoog_djvu.txt - (This is a digital scan of the book and sometimes not easily read, perhaps because of the difficulties in scanning old print?, but it's worth it to see what's behind such thinking. Nothing is new under the sun. Same old compromise yields same old results....

#71  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Wednesday, April 07, 2010at 8:30 PM

To Mark,

I thank you for the insight you bring to these posts. I’ve claimed ignorance as a science layman (Elaine & Mary Elizabeth are not alone!) but I truly appreciate your time & effort in helping us to better dialogue with scientists about these issues. I respect the time & effort you’ve invested in your profession. I work with research scientists, & am thankful at least a couple of them are patient with my lack of scientific understanding. I am curious about some of these issues, though not with the passion you scientists possess. My passion though is to draw near to God & to better understand Him, and so in attempting that, I try to better understand His creation. Thank you for your insight. It may be way over my head but it just reminds me how Awesome is our Creator God!

To Fred,

Thank you for the reference websites. I thought Lucy was the pig bone I had seen on a documentary; I must be mistaken, but those websights offered useful information on weak arguments to avoid.

To Gabriel,

Thanks for the good advice to those of us scientifically-challenged on how to beneficially present the gospel to our unbelieving friends. Great topic GTY staff!