I got this original article from Answers in Genesis. What is is, in essence, is a slightly watered down version of 'You can't be a Christian and accept evolution'. It's 'You can be a Christian and accept evolution, but your faith isn't worth anything and it's a slippery slope to unbelief.'
As this is not the case, I felt it necessary to have a look at these alleged ten dangers and see how real they are.
The text of the original article is in yellow. My rebuttals are in pale blue.
The atheistic formula for evolution is:
Evolution = matter + evolutionary factors (chance and necessity + mutation + selection + isolation + death) + very long time periods.
In the theistic evolutionary view, God is added:
Theistic evolution = matter + evolutionary factors (chance and necessity + mutation + selection + isolation + death) + very long time periods + God.
OK for a start, Gitt has set up a straw man. This is not theistic evolution. This would be some kind of God helping the process along sort of theory. Rather, the theistic evolution formula is:
matter + evolutionary factors (chance and necessity + mutation + selection + isolation + death) + very long time periods = an outworking of the creative activity of God.
In this system God is not the omnipotent Lord of all things, whose Word has to be taken seriously by all men, but He is integrated into the evolutionary philosophy.
Evolution is a science, not a philosophy. Nor is God incorporated; rather, the evolutionary process is seen as being a part of His creative process. Evolution does not say anything about God because it is about biology, not theology. I cannot see how this makes God not the omnipotent Lord of all things any more than the non-invocation of God in the theory of how water boils does.
This leads to 10 dangers for Christians.
A straw man finds it difficult to lead to dangers, except to those who set him up
Danger NO. 1 ... Misrepresentation of the Nature of God
The Bible reveals God to us as our Father in Heaven, who is absolutely perfect (Matthew 5:48), holy (Isaiah 6:3), and omnipotent (Jeremiah 32:17). The Apostle John tells us that God is love, light, and life (1 John 4:16; 1:5; 1:1-2). When this God creates some thing, His work is described as very good (Gen sis 1:31) and perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4).
Theistic evolution gives a false representation of the nature of God because death and ghastliness are ascribed to the Creator as principles of creation. (Progressive creationism, likewise, allows for millions of years of death and horror before sin.)
This is a problem anyway. Death and ghastliness are woven into the very fabric of the universe. What did God create vultures for? If they werent designed to dine on carrion, why did He make them so perfectly adapted for the purpose?
Let me give a close to home example. I keep fish. Cichlid fish from Lake Malawi, to be precise. And they breed. Take Melanochromis auratus as an example. It will produce a dozen fry or so every couple of months for its life, which may be several years. In the real world, most of these dont make it.
If there were no death, then Adam and Eve would have been knee deep in this species alone within a few years. Is Gitt suggesting that fish didnt breed like this before the Fall? Why did God tell them to be fruitful and multiply, then? Were they meant to stop after a few months? Why make them able to have so many?
Why do snakes have venom?
Why do cats have pointy teeth?
What did God originally create tapeworms for?
Evolution does not create this problem; the very nature of life does. Does Gitt read no ecology?
Danger NO. 2 ... God becomes a God of the Gaps
The Bible states that God is the Prime Cause of all things. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things ... and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him (1 Corinthians 8:6).
However, in theistic evolution the only workspace allotted to God is that part of nature which evolution cannot explain with the means presently at its disposal. In this way He is reduced to being a god of the gaps for those phenomena about which there are doubts. This leads to the view that God is therefore not absolute, but He Himself has evolved - He is evolution.2
What utter rubbish! Gitts God is the God of the Gaps stepping in to create things then stepping back and letting natural laws do their thing. Gitt is the one who keeps on invoking God as an explanation when his philosophy doesnt let natural laws do the job.
Theistic Evolution does not allocate God any workspace. Rather, it says that God is working through all natural laws and processes, including evolution.
Danger NO. 3 ... Denial of Central Biblical Teachings
The entire Bible bears witness that we are dealing with a source of truth authored by God (2 Timothy 3:16), with the Old Testament as the indispensable ramp leading to the New Testament, like an access road leads to a motor free way (John 5:39). The biblical creation account should not be regarded as a myth, a parable, or an allegory, but as a historical report, because:
Biological, astronomical and anthropological facts are given in didactic [teaching] form.
In the Ten Commandments God bases the six working days and one day of rest on the same time-span as that described in the creation account (Exodus 20:8-11).
In the New Testament Jesus referred to facts of the creation (e.g. Matthew 19:4-5).
Nowhere in the Bible are there any indications that the creation account should be understood in any other way than as a factual report.
The doctrine of theistic evolution undermines this basic way of reading the Bible, as vouched for by Jesus, the prophets and the Apostles. Events reported in the Bible are reduced to mythical imagery, and an understanding of the message of the Bible as being true in word and meaning is lost.
Creation account? Singular? Well, of course, there has to be if its a factual report. Shame there are two, therefore:
Did God create the animals first, and finally man, male and female in one go? (Genesis 1: 27)
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he them, male and females created he them"
Or did He make the earth, then make the man? Did He then decide that the man needed companions, and made animals? (Genesis 2: 7 & 18-19)
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living soul"
"And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him
"And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them..."
Did He finally decide that they werent good enough, and so make a woman as a separate creation out of the man? (Genesis 2: 20-23)
"...but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
"And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof:
"And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
"And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man."
Im familiar with the contortions used to harmonise Genesis 1 and 2. And Im afraid I find them thoroughly unconvincing. You have to do exactly the same twisting of the text that we theistic evolutionists are condemned for doing. We have two contradictory creation myths. Which one do you believe? Or are they both allegories?
See my essay Is Creationism Consistent? (from which the above is taken) for a thorough treatment of whether Creationists really take Genesis as literally as they claim to.
Danger NO. 4 ... Loss of the Way for Finding God
The Bible describes man as being completely ensnared by sin after Adams fall (Romans 7:18-19). Only those persons who realize that they are sinful and lost will seek the Saviour who came to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).
However, evolution knows no sin in the biblical sense of missing ones purpose (in relation to God). Sin is made meaningless, and that is exactly the opposite of what the Holy Spirit does - He declares sin to be sinful. If sin is seen as a harmless evolutionary factor, then one has lost the key for finding God, which is not resolved by adding God to the evolutionary scenario.
Sin a harmless evolutionary factor? Wheres that from? Evolution says nothing about the nature of sin. Its a science, not a theology! No, its not resolved by adding God to the evolutionary scenario. Its solved by listening to what God has said about sin, our relationship to Him and His solution in Christ. But this has no bearing on evolution.
Danger NO. 5 ... The Doctrine of Gods Incarnation is Undermined
The incarnation of God through His Son Jesus Christ is one of the basic teachings of the Bible. The Bible states that The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14), Christ Jesus ... was made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:5-7).
The idea of evolution undermines this foundation of our salvation. Evolutionist Hoimar von Ditfurth discusses the incompatibility of Jesus incarnation and evolutionary thought: Consideration of evolution inevitably forces us to a critical review ... of Christian formulations. This clearly holds for the central Christian concept of the incarnation of God ... .3
Whatever Hoimar von Ditfurth might think, I fail to see how our evolutionary origins preclude God becoming human. Why is it any more difficult for God to become a man evolved from an ape-like ancestor than for Him to become a man made from the dust of the earth?
Id like to see the whole quote, noting the ellipses, but I speak no German which doesnt help.
Danger NO. 6 ... The Biblical Basis of Jesus Work of Redemption Is Mythologized
The Bible teaches that the first mans fall into sin was a real event and that this was the direct cause of sin in the world. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Romans 5:12).
Theistic evolution does not acknowledge Adam as the first man, nor that he was created directly from the dust of the ground by God (Genesis 2:17). Most theistic evolutionists regard the creation account as being merely a mythical tale, albeit with some spiritual significance. However, the sinner Adam and the Saviour Jesus are linked together in the Bible - Romans 5:16-18. Thus any theological view which mythologizes Adam undermines the biblical basis of Jesus work of redemption.
It need not do so. Jesus work deals with us now. The creation story tells us about our spiritual condition as it is in the present, or, more correctly, before the incarnation and death of Jesus Christ. It is on that spiritual condition that redemption depends, not on the literal historical truth of a near-eastern creation myth.
Danger NO. 7 ... Loss of Biblical Chronology
The Bible provides us with a time-scale for history and this underlies a proper understanding of the Bible. This time-scale includes:
The time-scale cannot be extended indefinitely into the past, nor into the future. There is a well-defined beginning in Genesis 1:1, as well as a moment when physical time will end (Matthew 24:14).
Thats OK, cosmologists believe that the Big Bang was the beginning of time.
The total duration of creation was six days (Exodus 20:11).
Im not convinced the writer of Exodus was concerned about explanations of origins. Again, he was looking to the present, not the past. Sort of look, you know how in the story of creation the world was made in six days, well, thats a good way of organising your working schedule as well.
The age of the universe may be estimated in terms of the genealogies recorded in the Bible (but note that it can not be calculated exactly). It is of the order of several thousand years, not billions.
Galatians 4:4 points out the most outstanding event in the worlds history: But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son. This happened nearly 2,000 years ago.
The return of Christ in power and glory is the greatest expected future event.
In human history, yes. And that is, of course, much shorter.
Supporters of theistic evolution (and progressive creation) disregard the biblically given measures of time in favour of evolutionist time-scales involving billions of years both past and future (for which there are no convincing physical grounds). This can lead to two errors:
Not all statements of the Bible are to be taken seriously.
Seriously, yes; literally, no.
Vigilance concerning the second coming of Jesus may be lost.
Danger NO. 8 ... Loss of Creation Concepts
Certain essential creation concepts are taught in the Bible. These include:
God created matter without using any available material.
Thats what cosmologists seem to be saying about the Big Bang singularity it came from nothing.
God created the earth first, and on the fourth day He added the moon, the solar system, our local galaxy, and all other star systems. This sequence conflicts with all ideas of cosmic evolution, such as the big bang cosmology
What is essential about this order? What great Christian doctrine rests on it? Nothing, and none.
Theistic evolution ignores all such biblical creation principles and replaces them with evolutionary notions, there by contradicting and opposing Gods omnipotent acts of creation.
Piffle. Gods omnipotent acts of creation are still there. Just because Ive explained something in scientific terms it doesnt go away. A rainbow remains a thing of beauty even when I know about refraction. I dont stop kissing because I can describe it as a contact between two lips
Danger NO. 9 ... Misrepresentation of Reality
The Bible carries the seal of truth, and all its pronouncements are authoritative - whether they deal with questions of faith and salvation, daily living, or matters of scientific importance.
Evolutionists brush all this aside, e.g. Richard Dawkins says, Nearly all peoples have developed their own creation myth, and the Genesis story is just the one that happened to have been adopted by one particular tribe of Middle Eastern herders. It has no more special status than the belief of a particular West African tribe that the world was created from the excrement of ants.4
Where does the Bible claim to be authoritative as a scientific text? Nowhere. It does, however, say that the earth is established firm and cannot be moved, that the shoreline doesnt move need I go on? Why dont creationists believe that as well? Because they dont believe the Bible is a science book any more than I do, thats why.
Dawkins is an atheist, and methinks he speaks here with his atheist hat on rather than his evolutionist one. I dont brush all this aside, and Im an evolutionist, so the statement Evolutionists brush all this aside is false.
If evolution is false, then numerous sciences have embraced false testimony. Whenever these sciences conform with evolutionary views, they misrepresent reality. How much more then a theology which departs from what the Bible says and embraces evolution!
But if it is true, then the Creationists are misrepresenting reality. Shame the scientific evidence points our way, isnt it?
Danger NO. 10 ... Missing the Purpose
In no other historical book do we find so many and such valuable statements of purpose for man, as in the Bible. For example:
Man is Gods purpose in creation (Genesis 1:27-28).
Man is the purpose of Gods plan of redemption (Isaiah 53:5).
Man is the purpose of the mission of Gods Son (1 John 4:9).
We are the purpose of Gods inheritance (Titus 3:7).
Heaven is our destination (1 Peter 1:4).
However, the very thought of purposefulness is anathema to evolutionists. Evolutionary adaptations never follow a purposeful program, they thus can not be regarded as teleonomical.5 Thus a belief system such as theistic evolution that marries purposefulness with non-purposefulness is a contradiction in terms.
Of course Evolution is not about purpose it is a science, not a philosophy. If they are that way inclined, evolutionists look to religion or philosophy for purpose. Which is why there are Christians, Jews, Hindus etc. evolutionists.
Purposefulness is not anathema to us. It is not part of the scientific description of the origin of biodiversity, but that does not mean that anyone who accepts evolution hates the concept of purpose!
The doctrines of creation and evolution are so strongly divergent that reconciliation is totally impossible. The theistic evolutionists attempt to integrate the two doctrines, however such syncretism reduces the message of the Bible to insignificance. The conclusion is inevitable: There is no support for theistic evolution in the Bible.
We do not attempt to integrate two doctrines, any more than an engineer integrates doctrine into the law of angular momentum. Evolution is not a doctrine, it is a scientific theory. One with as much supporting evidence as the sphericity of the earth and its motion round the sun. Which, incidently, the Bible teaches against as well, if you take it literally.
But I dont look for support for evolution in the Bible, for the same reasons I dont look there for Newtons Laws of Motion. Its not what its for!
This article has been adapted from chapter 8 The Consequences of Theistic Evolution, from Prof. Dr. Werner Gitts book, Did God use Evolution?, Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung e.V., Postfach 11 01 35 . 33661, Bielefeld, Germany.
E. Jantsch, Die Selbstorganisation des Universums, Munchen, 1979, p. 412.
Hoimar von Ditfurth, Wir sind nicht nur von dieser Welt, Munchen, 1984, pp. 21-22.
Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, Penguin Books, London, 1986, p. 316.
H. Penzlin, Das Teleologie-Problem in der Biologie, Biologische Rundschau, 25 (1987), S.7-26, p. 19.
Did you think it was over? Alas, no... perhaps Gitt won't put the references at the end because that's what 'evolutionists' do... (joke)
What does Theistic Evolution involve?
The following evolutionary assumptions are generally applicable to theistic evolution:
The basic principle, evolution, is taken for granted.
Its not a principle, it is a scientific model, and one which explains observed facts extremely well.
It is believed that evolution is a universal principle.
Erm, no. Evolution is a description of the way that populations change over time. What is meant by Universal Principle? Damned if I know.
As far as scientific laws are concerned, there is no difference between the origin of the earth and all life and their subsequent development (the principle of uniformity)
Why should there be any difference?
Evolution relies on processes that allow increases in organization from the simple to the complex, from non-life to life, and from lower to higher forms of life.
No more than digestion or crystal growth do.
The driving forces of evolution are mutation, selection, isolation, and mixing. Chance and necessity, long time epochs, ecological changes, and death are additional indispensable factors.
The time line is so prolonged that anyone can have as much time as he/she likes for the process of evolution.
No, we have as much time as the geologists have discovered we have. Which they did quite independently of work on evolution.
The present is the key to the past.
Explain does this mean that we can use observations now to figure out the past? Well, yes. As in forensic medicine.
There was a smooth transition from non-life to life.
Nice to see you understand that. The number of people that think that abiogenesis is an amoeba forming out of nothing is terrifying. Thank you for laying that particular straw man. But this is abiogenesis, not evolution. They are quite distinct areas of biology.
Evolution will persist into the distant future.
Populations will continue to change as long as their environment drives them, yes. We have no knowledge of how long that will be, though what we know about the development of stars puts an upper limit on the duration of life on Earth. Unless God intervenes.
In addition to these evolutionary assumptions, three additional beliefs apply to theistic evolution:
God used evolution as a means of creating.
The Bible contains no usable or relevant ideas which can be applied in present-day origins science.
Why should it? It's not a book about science, but about God and man.
Evolutionistic pronouncements have priority over biblical statements. The Bible must be reinterpreted when and wherever it contradicts the present evolutionary world view.
No. But scientists cannot ignore the scientific evidence just because it does not fit in with a literalist position on scripture. Again, are we to abandon the evidence that the earth goes round the sun because the Bible says the earth is stationary and the sun goes round it? And whats this evolutionary world view stuff? Evolution is a description of the way that populations change over time. Not a world view. Evolutionists get their world views from their religious beliefs, or lack thereof, as everybody else does.
* This section is adapted from Werner Gitts, Did God Use Evolution?, pp. 13-16, 24
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