Could God Have Used Evolution? (Part 1)
That was the response I received from someone who attended one of my engagements recently. She was noticeably upset and carried on for quite a while during our open Q&A session following the lecture (which on this particular occasion was in a church with about 600 in attendance). So how would you respond to such a question? I guess that largely depends on what you believe is the correct answer. Maybe you have asked a similar question yourself. Maybe you are still asking this question. Maybe you have had others pose this question, but you did not feel adequately prepared to give a well-reasoned response.
How did I respond? First and foremost, I made every effort to be gracious and affirming. Without this effort, my actual answer may easily have not even been heard. Even though she did not ask her question or make her statements in a very kind or respectful way, I sincerely thanked her for being willing to share her honest thoughts and stated that there’s a good chance that many others in attendance that morning may have the same question. I then went on to briefly address each point she raised. (By the way, after the event, she approached me in the lobby with a big smile, shook my hand and walked away!)
Where does this question come from? I believe it is largely generated by the fact that many Christians find themselves in a bit of an apparent dilemma. They certainly believe in God and view the Bible as being his inspired Word, but they are also under the impression that scientist have virtually proven that evolution is a fact. They may also believe that science just deals with facts and you can’t really argue with that, because it is what it is. On the other hand, they reason that the Bible can be interpreted in many different ways and it doesn’t matter so much what we believe about creation, as long as we at least believe in Jesus. (We’ve dealt with the latter statement in previous articles.) The easiest way to resolve this apparent conundrum is to simply merge the two together. “God used evolution. Case closed! No need to argue with either side.”
On the surface this seems like the best solution and I believe that most Christians who hold to this position do so in all sincerity. It also may seem like it is really taking the “higher ground” position… not completely rejecting either side. I personally believe that evolution and religion are very compatible. Really? Yes, really. What’s the catch? Here’s the catch… Evolution and religion are very compatible, but not evolution and Christianity! Religion is largely “man’s” idea of God (or “a” god). There are so many different religions because there are so many different people and they all have their own ideas about who or what God is, why we are here and what he want from us, etc. Christianity, on the other hand, is “God’s” idea of God. I personally believe that what God chose to tell us about himself and his creation, rules out the evolutionary theories being taught in schools and universities today. I think that non-Christians often recognize this more readily than Christians, as evidenced in the following quote from Professor David Oldroyd:
“People seem to think that Christianity and evolution do or can go together. But I suggest this is only possible for the intellectually schizophrenic. Biological theory does not require or allow any sort of divine guidance for the evolutionary process…”
Professor David Oldroyd, (School of Science and Technology Studies at the University of New South Wales, Australia.) writing in The (Australian) Weekend Review, 20–21 March 1993, p. 5.
Atheist G. Richard Bozarth wrote:
"Christianity has fought, still fights, and will continue to fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the Son of God. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing."
G. Richard Bozarth, ‘The Meaning of Evolution’, American Atheist, p. 30. 20 September 1979.
So… I believe that you can be quite comfortable in believing that God used evolution as his “creative process” if, and this is a big “if”, you avoid two things. First of all, do not study Scripture in any real depth. Secondly, do not analyze evolution scientifically. The point I am making is that evolution is really not supported by either the Bible or true science. We will briefly touch on both of these areas in this current series of articles. Check back next month!
Click here to see Part 2 n which we review of some of the biblical problems with theistic evolution.
Click here to see Part 3 in which we review of some of the scientific problems with theistic evolution.
If you have any further questions about God, creation, Christianity or the Bible, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can even arrange a FREE engagement or seminar at your church, school, conference or camp.