Sunday, February 13, 2011
The Fruits of “Christian” Evolution
If we start with the wrong presuppositions, we’ll end up with the
wrong conclusions. Similarly, when we start to button our shirt with the
wrong button, all subsequent buttons will be out of place. If the basis of
our thinking is wrong, then our cognitive edifice will also be out-of-joint.
This is precisely what happens when we start with Darwin. Many Christian evolutionists claim that the Bible isn’t a science or history textbook. While we can’t trust what it says about the physical world, we can trust its teachings about the spiritual world. Karl Giberson, a science professor at a Christian school, claims that “science does indeed trump religious truth about the natural world.”
Sounds harmless enough? After all, the Bible isn’t concerned with amino acids and meteors, but with Christ and His salvation, isn’t it? Well, there are several problems with placement of this particular button. As creationist Bruce Malone has stated, “If we can’t trust what the Bible teaches about the physical world--something we can examine and test--how can we trust it about the spiritual?” Malone is clearly correct. Such a distinction and dismissal of the Bible’s teaching about the physical world casts doubt on what it teaches about the spiritual.
Besides, the Bible doesn’t make a distinction between the physical and the spiritual. Instead, the clear position found in scripture is that the physical and the spiritual are inseparable. For example, the spiritual/theological teaching of the Crucifixion depends on the physical/historical event of the Crucifixion. And the same holds true with so many other doctrines. What God has physically/historically accomplished becomes spiritual doctrine.
In order that we might understand even more fully the false dichotomy between the physical and the spiritual, let’s take a look at what Jesus said about divorce. Jesus argued that divorce isn’t an option because of the physical/historical reality of God’s work. He took the two--Adam and Eve--and made them one (Matthew 19:4-6; Genesis 2:24). Jesus reasoned that God’s historical actions are normative, and we have no right to undermine with divorce the oneness that He both intended and created.
When we conclude that science knows better than the Bible in certain areas, we surrender the notion that it is without error and fully worthy of our trust (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Matthew 4:4; 5:16-19). It then follows that, if the Bible isn’t supremely authoritative, then something else is. For the Christian evolutionist, the present scientific and cultural consensus has become the highest authority.
Consequently, when we allow the ideas inherent in the theory of evolution to remake our understanding of the physical world, we also allow it to reformat our understanding of the spiritual. Giberson started buttoning his shirt at the wrong hole by believing that evolution was right in physical matters, and now each button is out of place. It is now apparent that he has allowed evolution to dictate spiritual matters as well. He now concedes:
• “In The God Delusion [evolutionist and New Atheist Richard] Dawkins eloquently skewers the tyrannical anthropomorphic deity of the Old Testament—the God that supposedly commanded the Jews to go on genocidal rampages and who occasionally went on his own rampages, flooding the planet or raining fire and brimstone on wicked cities. But who believes in this deity any more, besides those same fundamentalists who think the earth is 10,000 years old? Modern theology has moved past this view of God.”
The God of the Bible is apparently no longer Giberson’s god. The only thing left for us to learn from him, it seems, concerns the absolutely devastating consequences of starting with the wrong button.