Theistic evolutionist (TE), Nathanael Yates, doesn’t think that the evolution-creation debate and the conclusions we come to on this issue matter:
- As a Christian it doesn't matter to me whether the Earth, and all that is in it, was created by a process of evolution or creation.
- Debate around evolution and creation in the church is an interesting intellectual discussion, but doesn't concern salvation. Suggesting that it is may actually make nonbelievers who believe in evolution less receptive to Christianity.
- I don't believe that debate on this issue is likely to improve our character and relationship with God.
However, many have testified that this issue matters profoundly. In God: the Evidence, former atheist, Patrick Glynn, cautions about the persuasiveness of Darwinism in rejecting the biblical faith:
- “I embraced skepticism at an early age, when I first learned of Darwin’s theory of evolution in, of all places, Catholic grade school. It immediately occurred to me that either Darwin’s theory was true or the creation story in the Book of Genesis was true. They could not both be true, and I stood up in class and told the poor nun as much.”
In fact, many present evolutionists also testify how Darwinism weaned them from the faith of the childhood. Bruce Malone, Founder of Search for the Truth and one who returned, also testifies of the persuasiveness of Darwinian thinking:
- “Prior to graduation from college, I had not once been shown any of the scientific evidence for creation either in school or in church. Little wonder, that by the time I started my career [as a chemist], God had little relevance in my life. It wasn’t as though I had any animosity toward God or religion. It simply held no relevance to the world around me. This should be no surprise when the subject never came up in school and everything seemed to be explained without reference to a Creator.”
I’ve often observed that those who adopt a theistic evolution stance, abandon the physical world to Darwin, leaving only the spiritual world to the Bible. Consequently, the entire apologetics enterprise – this takes what we know of the physical world and uses it to validate the spiritual – is undermined. For instance Ron Choong, founder of the Academy for Christian Thought, writes:
- “Darwin suggested that there is no scientific evidence to support the existence of God. That is correct!”
Try telling that to former atheists like Anthony Flew! By abandoning this crucial evidential basis for the Christian faith, we inevitably compromise it in favor of what we regard as more certain – Darwinism! Choong writes:
- “Darwinism exposes
Christianity’s weakness in keeping up with the growing scientific
knowledge. We use the fruits of scientific technology and blissfully
ignore its implications for a contemporary and comprehensive worldview.”
Marvin Olasky, Editor in Chief, World Magazine, has observed the impact of this kind of compromise on the integrity of once-Christian schools:
- Disavowal of biblical teaching about creation is particularly serious because that perspective underlies so many other positions: In dozens of once-Christian colleges a slip-sliding-away from the first three chapters of Genesis has led to abandonment of the rest of the Bible. (World Mag. October 4, 2014, 60)
Why does this slide seem to inevitably occur? I think that there are many reasons for it. Once we “spiritualize” the first three chapters of Genesis, upon which everything else rests, emptying it of any historical content, we create for ourselves a highly slippery slope upon which no one can stand.
I’ll just offer one example. If Jesus had entirely spiritualized Genesis 1-3, the TE would have been able to stand more securely. However, He understood it historically:
- "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' [quoting Gen. 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'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together [quoting Gen. 2:24], let man not separate." (Matthew 19:4-6)
Genesis records the historical work of God! How does the TE answer these kinds of objections? He pleads that “We have to be humble regarding our interpretations.” In other words, we cannot have any sense of assurance about the teachings of the Bible as we can have regarding evolution.
Yates does not seem to be concerned about any of this and therefore concludes:
- As a church we should spend less time debating amongst ourselves and focus our energies on what we all desire: salvation for all.
If only this were true! Instead, for the TE, it seems that “salvation for all” is a matter of converting the church to Darwin.