Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Why We are Troubled by Darwin’s Inroads into the Church

Evolutionists are just as evangelistic about their faith as we are. And so it’s no surprise that they are trying to push their faith on Evangelicals. However, it is surprising that the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) is joining in this effort. According to WORLD Magazine:

  • The NAE...”is in the final stages of formalizing an agreement to collaborate with the American Association for the Advancement of Science…on a project to build a better dialogue and understanding between the scientific and evangelical communities. The collaboration is part of a Templeton Foundation grant received by the AAAS.” (Sept 22, 2012, 12)
This means that the AAAs and the NAE want us to become theistic evolutionists (TEs, or CEs – Christian evolutionists). Clearly, building “a better dialogue and understanding” is not part of their true agenda. The NAE chief operating officer refused to talk with WORLD’s Marvin Olasky, who concluded that:

  • The clear goal of AAAS and Templeton is to bolster the “motivation, imagination, and capacity” of pastors who want to influence their congregations to accept evolution.
Well, why not also bolster the AAAS? Seems like a one-way street! But what is the problem with updating our Christian theory with a touch of scientific “advancement?”  There are many ways that marrying Jesus to Darwin undermines the Christian faith. Here are some of them.

This marriage unbiblically elevates evolution to the level of Scripture. Instead of Scripture critiquing all other truth claims (2 Cor. 10:4-5), evolution now stands in judgment over Scripture. Jesus had warned against serving two masters (Mat. 6:23-24) by showing how one of them would eventually get the boot. In all of my conversations with CEs, it has been apparent that the Bible got the boot. It was always coerced to conform to Darwin and not the other way around. Consequently, when science is allowed to trump Scripture, there is no end to the compromises that Scripture is forced to make.

Evolution introduces a competing and entirely alien worldview. The consistent message of Genesis, and the rest of the Scriptures, is that God had made everything “very good” and we screwed it all up, requiring a future Savior (Gen. 3:15) to bring about a “restoration” (Acts 3:21).

According to evolution, life was a dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-fittest struggle from the beginning. Consequently, Adam and Eve screwed-up nothing, and sin and death had their origins from the inception of life, in contrast with Genesis 3.

As a result of this marriage, Jesus, the “second Adam,” has to be re-envisioned. He is no longer the Savior from the effects of the Fall – sin and death, the work of Adam – but the Savior from God’s “glorious” but bloody evolutionary plan.

There can be no “restoration,” because a restoration would be a restoration to our dog-eat-dog beginnings – not a very pleasant prospect.

This alien worldview also undermines morality in many ways. If the “survival-of-the-fittest” is God’s glorious plan to bring us onto the scene, then we can should regard this God-given methodology as normative – a model for our guidance. Consequently, who can blame Cain for killing the naïve and less well-adapted Abel! Besides, if there is no absolute distinction between us and the beasts, then there can be no absolute distinction between the way we treat man and beast.

Evolution disparages the Biblical accounts. In order to make room for Darwin, Scripture – at least the first several chapters of Genesis – have to be relegated to non-historical allegory. For instance, Genesis 1:30 states that God gave the birds and beasts green herbs to eat. However, this contradicts evolution’s insistence regarding the bloody struggle of the survival-of-the-fittest. Therefore, the CE dogmatically asserts that the Bible “isn’t a science or history text,” but a theology text - the way to find salvation.

Thus, evolution illegitimately separates theology from its necessary historical foundations. However, we cannot separate the theology of the cross from the history of the cross. To remove the historical fact that Christ died on the cross is to deny the Gospel – that Jesus died for our sins. No history, no theology!

We also find this inseparable relationship between history and theology in Genesis. Peter reasons that God means business about a future judgment. He cites His past (historical) judgments as evidence – the flood and Sodom (2 Peter 2:4-9). However, if these accounts were merely parabolic or allegorical, then we’d have no reason to believe that the future judgment is any more than an allegory. Clearly, this was not Peter’s intention.

Closer to home, Jesus bases His teachings on marriage on the historical events of Genesis 1 and 2:

  • "Haven't you read," he [Jesus] replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' [Genesis 1:26-27] and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' [Gen. 2:24]? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has [historically] joined together, let man not separate." (Matthew 19:4-6)
If God hadn’t actually created them and historically joined the two together, Jesus’ argument against divorce would be insupportable. (If God hadn’t historically joined them together, then there is no need to keep them together!) Therefore, if Genesis isn’t history, then Jesus was mistaken.

Many CEs deny that Adam and Eve were actually historical. However, if we deny their historicity, then we have to deny everything that the New Testament says about them. However, Paul also affirmed the historicity of the Genesis 3 account:

  • Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—(Romans 5:12)
Without any doubt, Paul made an historical claim and based a lot of other theology on the historical Adam (1 Tim. 2:14-16; 1 Cor. 15:21-22, 45).

The many genealogies also assert that Adam was an historical person. Besides, if Adam isn’t historical, then Cain and Abel aren’t historical, and Abraham and David aren’t historical – all the way up to Jesus. Consequently, if Adam wasn’t historical, the genealogies would lead us to believe that all of his so-named descendents are likewise unhistorical. Therefore, to compromise the first chapters of the Bible is to compromise everything else.

The CE worldview kills apologetics – the defense of the faith. Proofs build upon what is clear and generally accepted in order to prove what has been unclear and disputed. This also pertains to apologetics – theistic proofs and proofs that the Bible is actually God’s Word. Consequently, we start with what we can see and touch – the physical world (evidences of miracles, fulfilled prophecy, extra-Biblical testimony…) – and apply these areas of agreement to areas of disagreement. Jesus performed miracles and fulfilled prophecies to provide a foundation for our faith. However, the CE claims that the Bible is both mistaken and unconcerned about events in the physical world. This undercuts the possibility of any comprehensive proof.

The CE also disparages ID as science and proof. This too goes against the testimony of Scripture that we are “without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20) when we deny the physical evidence for the existence of God. Consequently, the CE worldview has limited the Christian faith to only subjective/personal appeals – “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8)

The Bible provides no justification for the CE claim that the Bible is about the spiritual world, while evolution is about the physical. (They make this insupportable distinction in order to relieve any possible contradiction between Jesus and Darwin. After all, they deal with two entirely different realms, right?)

However, even evolutionists will admit that evolution knows no boundaries. The atheist Daniel Dennett refers to this theory as an “acid” that will corrode away all religious belief, and I think he is right! Indeed, evolution is now being evoked to explain everything – psychology, morality and even religion. Nothing is beyond its grasp.

When I raise these concerns with CEs, they tell me that, “we have to be humble about our interpretation of the Bible.” (If only they were as humble about evolution! Almost uniformly, they inform me that the Bible is marred by the ancient and errant beliefs of their time. But who cares about that anyway, since the Bible isn’t about the physical world but the spiritual!)

However, based upon my many dialogues with CEs, they seem to have become so “humble” about the Bible, that they no longer know what to believe, and sadly, it doesn’t seem to trouble them. In fact, they tend to exalt Biblical uncertainty and doubt as the virtues of the sensitive and thinking man. As a result, their worldview is almost inseparable from that of the educated West. How tragic!

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