Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Letter to Theistic Evolutionists

I think that we need to be careful so as not to evaluate our testimonies and new worldview formulations by strictly short-term benefits. Some things that feel right might prove to be entirely wrong in the long-run.

As a high-school moralist, I was quickly converted to moral relativism upon entering college. I then made the logical jump to nihilism – the utter absence of any intrinsic values. It was a heady experience, at least at the beginning. I was now the captain of my own ship. The only standards were the ones I created for myself. Consequently, my feelings of guilt and shame were entirely baseless. And knowing this, I could learn to overcome them! Life stood before me for the taking.

However, I had failed to regard the small print. I subsequently found that my ship was unmanageable and every port-of-call was the same. Instead of freedom, I found that life had become an oppressive burden, but it took years in order to recognize the implications of my philosophical commitments.

There is a lot of small print inherent in the “marriage contract” you’ve transacted. There are hidden costs which you might not have anticipated. Let me point out a few:

1. LACK OF STABILITY IN THE DARWIN/CHRIST MARRIAGE: The Darwinist worldview is entirely different from the Biblical at its most fundamental points. While the Bible insists that God created everything good and that we are the problem (Gen. 3), Darwin is unequivocal that, even at the beginning, life was characterized as a bloody survival-of-the-fittest struggle. All subsequent theology hinges upon this: the Fall and origin of sin (Gen. 3), the Redemption (1 Cor. 15:21-22), the Restoration (Acts 3:21). Hence, you have opened the door to a continual struggle for authority between Darwin and Jesus, as Darwin seeks to erode what you have retained.

2. AN UNDERMINING OF ALL OBJECTIVE REASONS TO BELIEVE IN THE CHRISTIAN FAITH: Since theistic evolutionists teach that the Bible isn’t about this physical world (in order to make room for Darwinism) but rather the theological world, they have consequently come to disdain any of the classical theistic proofs for God and the Christian faith. Consequently, they have rendered themselves ineffectual in bringing the Gospel to unbelievers and have been relegated to the position of only being able to talk effectively to those who already have a faith in Christ. They have marginalized themselves away from the broader exchange of ideas.

3. AN UNDERMINING OF THEIR OWN CONFIDENCE IN CHRIST: In order to make room for Darwin, the theistic evolutionist (TE) must relegate much of Genesis to the place of myth. However, all of the writers of Scripture, including Jesus, regard these accounts as historical. Therefore, the TE is forced to admit that these authorities are also teaching myth. However, in order to retain some semblance of the Christian faith, they must make the unbiblical distinction between the science and history of the Bible and the theology of the Bible. But we can’t separate the history of the Cross from the theology of the Cross. This inseparable bond also pertains to other doctrines. How then can you trust in the theology of the Bible, when you are unwilling to trust in the history of the Bible?

I think that there are more fruitful ways to resolve the conflict that drove you to marry Darwin to your Jesus. Although I agree with you that the Christian faith shouldn’t be a matter of fear and the denial of opposing voices and evidences, we can still remain authentically Christian without building barriers! There is more responsible and Biblically based way of dealing with the tension between the world of scholarship and the Faith, and I think that it involves the way we prioritize authoritative sources.

The central question is this: “What source of truth or revelation is most authoritative? What source is most reliable? What lens should predominate as we construct our worldviews – a Biblical lens or the prevailing scientific consensus (2 Cor. 10:4-5)? To which “Master” will we submit ourselves (Mat. 6:23-24)? What and who should be compromised if there is a conflict?”

We are highly corruptible beings, easily molded by the overwhelming influences to which we have been subjected. I am not suggesting that holding to a thorough-going Biblical worldview is without its tension or dissonance. While it doesn’t reject looking at the counter-evidence for those who are mature in the faith, it requires exercising a certain degree of appropriate skepticism and detachment regarding it (as contrasted with an open embrace). This can be difficult, but our Lord never promised that it would be easy.

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