CHRISTIANS AND EVOLUTION

20151111_133250 - Edited

By Dr. Stephen Kim

As the our cultural milieu becomes increasingly secular, the pressure by academia to conform is becoming increasingly acute within the Church. The current “meta-narrative” of evolution is being used by secular scientists to promote the notion that the universe came into existence without God.  The Bible tells us a story and it begins with God. Evolution tells us a story and it has no God.  Make no mistake, the naturalist’s notion of Darwin’s evolutionary theory is completely godless.  As notorious atheist and college professor, Richard Dawkins, once infamously noted:

An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: “I have no explanation for complex biological design.  All I know is that God isn’t a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one.” I can’t help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist. (Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, 1986, p. 6)

At a very young age, I knew that either Darwin’s theory of evolution was true or Genesis was true. (For this reason, I intentionally skipped all the questions on the subject of evolution on the Biology Advanced Placement Exam in high school. I did not like the fact that they were treating the theory as fact and it was my way of boycotting the exam. (By God’s grace, I still passed the exam!))  I knew that both evolution and the Bible could not be true. William Provine, the late professor of biological sciences at Cornell University also believed that the two were incompatible.  Dr. Provine said:

“…belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.” (W.B. Provine, “No Free Will,” in Catching Up with the Vision–Essays on the Occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the Founding of the History of Science Society, ed., 1999, p. S123)

In other words, the only religion one could hold if one properly understood and believed in evolution was the religion of atheism.  I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment. Evolution and biblical Christianity are wholly incompatible. For the greater part of 2,000 years of Church history, the Church has held to a literal six (24-hour) day creation:

The church has historically believed that God created the universe ex nihilo–out of nothing–in the relatively recent past, perhaps five or six thousand years ago.  As the consensus of the church, this position was affirmed against philosophical theories that were similar in some ways to modern theories of evolution. It was not until the seventeenth century that a major challenge to this belief was set forth, yet on the whole the church continued to affirm and defend its traditional belief. Following that point, other challenges arose, none of which was greater than Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Since the middle of the nineteenth century, that theory has significantly affected the church’s view of divine creation….It should be remembered that, even though Christians are divided–even hotly so, at times–on this issue, it has been only in the last few centuries that any significant controversy has existed over divine creation. Thus, the following discussion will be essentially uniform throughout the periods of the early church, the Middle Ages, the Reformation, and the early modern period. (Gregg R. Allison, Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine, 2011, p. 254)

Recently, however, there are those who are beginning to succumb to Darwinian evolution.  As the culture begins to accept evolutionary theory as fact, tremendous pressure is being exerted upon the Church to either believe in evolution or be seen as unintelligent.

As a result of the secular intellectual community’s attempt depict those who do not believe in evolution as ignorant social buffoons, many Christians within the Church are beginning to capitulate and are espousing what is known as, “theistic evolution”–the belief that God used evolution to create this present world.  New Testament scholar, and former Bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright is a prime example of the “spirit of compromise” that is currently seeping into our churches.  Wright, who believes that evolution is a fact, not only ridicules those who do not believe in evolution, but has this to say about Christians who take Genesis 1-3 literally:

The root problem we face as Christians is that in articulating a Christian vision of the cosmos the way we want to do, we find ourselves hamstrung because it is assumed that to be Christian is to be anti-intellectual, anti-science, obscurantist, and so forth. (N.T. Wright, Surprised by Scripture, p. 26)

For men like Wright, a Christian who does not believe in evolution is an embarrassment to the Christian community–hamstringing the cause of Christ with “anti-intellectual, anti-science” and “obscurantist” views.  In order to be applauded by the intelligentsia of our era, men like Wright have left the Christian faith.  Yes, I said it.  I do not believe theistic evolutionists are saved.

7 Reasons Why Theistic Evolutionists Are Not Saved

  1. By believing in evolution, they believe that Adam and Eve were not the first humans.  In fact, they believe that Adam and Eve were just two out of some 10 million Neolithic humans who existed concurrently with Adam and Eve.  According to theistic evolutionists, Adam and Eve were only unique because God chose to reveal Himself to them in a manner that He did not to others.  There is no special creation of Adam and Eve.  By believing in evolution, they deny that the ontological source of all humanity is found in Adam and Eve and thus, deny Acts 17:26 which states, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.” Furthermore, by believing in evolution, one must believe that Jesus lied when He said, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female” (Matt 19:4).  Eve was not an evolutionary accident but rather, God directly created her at the very beginning with Adam. Adam and Eve were incontrovertibly the first humans on this planet.
  1. By believing in evolution, they believe that Adam was not uniquely created by God as the apex of creation and deny that he was created directly by God from the ground. Because they hold to evolution, they believe that Adam had human parents and thus, they deny Genesis 2:7 which states, “The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground.”
  1. By believing in evolution, they believe that Eve was not uniquely created by God from Adam’s rib.  Instead, they believe that Eve had human parents.  In holding evolution, they deny Genesis 2:21-22 which states, “So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.”  The disbelief of Eve having been created from Adam does damage to the theology of marriage, ecclesiology, and soteriology.  
  1. By believing in evolution, they believe that sin existed in the world prior to Adam and Eve’s sin of eating the forbidden fruit.  Thus, they deny Romans 5:12 which states, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”  According to theistic evolution, sin not only already existed in the world prior to Adam, but there existed sinners (both now and then) who were not (and are not) sinners through Adam.  As we shall see in point #7, this does serious trauma to the gospel.  
  1. By believing in evolution, they believe that death and decay existed in the world prior to the Fall of Adam and thus, they deny Genesis 1:31 which states that the world was perfect and “very good” prior to Adam’s sin: “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen 1:31).  The acceptance of death prior to the sin of Adam is inevitable if one holds the theory of evolution to be true:

“This, perhaps, is a way of reading the warning of Genesis 2: in the day you eat of it you too will die. Not that death, the decay and dissolution of plants, animals, and hominids wasn’t a reality already…” (N.T. Wright, Surprised by Scripture, p. 38)

Hence, by believing in evolution, theistic evolutionists reject the doctrine that death, natural disasters, and disease are all results of Adam’s sin.

  1. By believing in evolution, they deny the Fall.  In evolution, mankind is gradually improving and progressing.  However, the Bible informs us that since the Fall of Adam and Eve, mankind (and all of creation) is “groaning” because of continual corruption and decay.  Things are getting worse–not better!  “That the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” (Romans 8:21-22).
  1. MOST IMPORTANTLY: By believing in evolution, they deny the gospel of Jesus Christ and therefore, are not saved.  [I want to mention clearly that naturalistic evolution does not even believe in the existence of God.]  Truly saved persons will believe in the biblical accounts of Adam and Eve’s creation and fall.  At the heart of the gospel is the doctrine of justification by faith alone.  Justification involves both the clearing of guilt by God through the blood of Jesus, and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness.  The gospel states, “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.  For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous (Rom 5:19-20).”  Theistic evolution breaks this vital parallel.  In theistic evolution, one man’s trespass did not lead to the condemnation of all men.  There is no unity within the human race. Adam was not the first man, he did not commit the first sin, and therefore, we are not condemned through him.  Once this is believed (and evolution necessitates this belief), then the other part of the formula falls apart as well.  Since Christ’s representation (which leads to salvation) is inextricably linked to Adam’s representation (which led to the condemnation of all men), the disappearance of Adam’s representation biblically (and logically) demands the disappearance of Christ’s salvation.  

CONCLUSION

Not only does belief in evolution destroy entire swaths of Scripture passages, but it also dismantles the gospel itself.  Christians must not embrace evolution.  Genesis and the theory of evolution are completely incompatible, and believing in evolution forces one to throw away many passages of the Bible or causes one to twist those passages beyond recognition.  

According to the Bible, God did not use evolution to make this present world.  According to the Bible, Adam and Eve were created directly by God; sin entered the world through Adam’s sin; all men were made sinners through Adam’s sin; death entered the world through Adam’s sin; natural disasters entered into the world through Adam’s sin, and all men who believe in Christ are made righteous through Christ’s death and resurrection. This is what the Bible teaches, and it is completely at odds with the theory of evolution. One could be a theistic evolutionist, but the god that such a one believes is certainly not the God of the Bible.  

Here is a simultaneous equation worth pondering:

Unbelievers believe: Nothing + Evolution = Everything

Theistic Evolutionists believe: God + Evolution = Everything

Therefore: God = Nothing

Let’s not go there.

The Bible and the theory of evolution are completely incompatible.

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About Dr. Stephen Kim

Dr. Stephen Kim is the senior pastor of Mustard Seed Church in New York City. He has also served as Associate Director of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, NYC Extension Center. Pastor Stephen is the happy husband of one beautiful woman and the joyous father of four beautiful children. As a pastor and writer, he is passionate about accurately feeding Christians the Word of God: “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?" (Matthew 24:45).
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