Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Evolution and the Church: A Dysfunctional Marriage

Although none of its followers would call it a religion, evolution has become the religion of the university. Instead, they call it science, even though none of it can be verified in the laboratory. However, even a growing number of atheists are challenging this theory. The late theoretical physicist, Fred Hoyle, dismissed this theory:

  • Darwinian theory is wrong because random variations tend to worsen performance as indeed common sense suggests. (CRJ, Vol. 36, #02, 47)
  • Biomaterials [the materials of the cell] with their amazing measure of order must be the outcome of intelligent design.
Even Lynn Margulis, the late biologist and wife of the famous atheist Carl Sagan, finally rejected this theory:

  • Neo-Darwinists say that new species emerge when mutations occur and modify an organism. I was taught over and over again that the accumulation of random mutations led to evolutionary change – led to new species. I believed it until I looked for evidence. (44)
Other atheists, Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini confessed that:

  • There is something wrong – quite possibly fatally wrong – with the theory of evolution.
  • We have been told by more than one of our colleagues that, even if Darwin was substantially wrong to claim that natural selection is the mechanism of evolution, nonetheless we shouldn’t say so. Not, anyhow, in public. To do that is, however inadvertently, to align oneself with the Forces of Darkness, whose goal is to bring science into disrepute. (44)
Nevertheless, the power and prestige of the university has been able to push evolution into the church. Evolutionists are just as evangelistic about their faith as we are and they have even enlisted Christians to do their bidding, and they have been quite successful at this.

Ordinarily, what people believe about biological change does not have a direct impact upon faith and the Bible. However, when Christians adopt Darwin, the consequences are disastrous to the faith. Here are some examples:

Christian evolutionists (CEs) unbiblically elevate evolution to the level of Scripture. Instead of Scripture critiquing all other truth claims evolution now stands in judgment over Scripture. Paul claimed that we have to bring all thoughts and worldviews into conformity to the Gospel (2 Cor. 10:4-5). In reverse to this teaching, Christian evolutionists tend to bring biblical thinking into conformity evolution.

Jesus had warned against serving two masters (Mat. 6:23-24), arguing that one would eventually take the place of the other. In all of my conversations with Christian evolutionists, it has been apparent that it was the Bible that got replaced. 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 message of Genesis, and the rest of the Scriptures, is that God had made everything “very good”(Gen. 1:31) 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 always a dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-fittest struggle from the beginning. Amazingly, cunning and death were God’s glorious tools. 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 unholy marriage between the Scriptures and evolution, Jesus, the “second Adam,” has to be re-evaluated. 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 own “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.

The CE claim that the Bible is about the spiritual world, while evolution is about the physical. Therefore, there cannot be any contradiction between Darwin and the Bible, since the Bible is just concerned about the spiritual and Darwin about the physical – two entirely distinct realities! CEs make this insupportable distinction in order to defend themselves against any verse that might contradict Darwinism. Where there is an apparent contradiction, like the biblical assertion that animals had originally been herbivores, the CE claims that this teaching is a spiritual one, not one about the physical creation of the animal world. How convenient, but how inaccurate!

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 should regard this God-given methodology as normative – a model for our guidance. Consequently, who can blame Cain for killing the na├»ve 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 – has 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.

In this manner, 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 historical people. However, if we deny their historicity, then we have to deny everything that the New Testament says about them. However, Paul clearly 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, because God has given us this evidence. 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)

When I challenge CEs about their inconsistencies, they will tell me that we have to be humble about our interpretation of the Bible. If only they were equally humble about their belief in Darwin!

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