Deconstructing Theistic Evolution
Be ye not unequally yoked
together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with
unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what
concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth
with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?
for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will
dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they
shall be my people (II Cor. 6:14–16).
Darwinism or, more accurately,
neo-Darwinism is taught in our schools and universities, we hear it on
the radio and television, and more worryingly in many of the "churches"
of our day. Reformed believers who attend university are often for the
first time (especially if they have had the privilege of Christian
schooling) forced to defend their beliefs, debating and discussing with
ungodly professors and peers. Dr. Gary Parker, a former evolutionary
biologist who (by the grace of God) turned to the biblical creationist
perspective, described Darwinism as a "world and life view, an alternate
religion, a substitute for God" and hence was something he taught
passionately, considering it his role to "help his students rid
themselves completely of old, 'pre-scientific' superstitions, such as
The tears he claims to have caused on the faces of his students are an
evidence and a reminder, not only of the distress such vigour in
teaching can cause, but of the contempt with which much of the
scientific world treats biblical creationism.
With evolution so widely proclaimed in
secular society, hearing it within academia is something we as
Christians have come to expect. More saddening and ultimately more
shocking, especially for those of us who have been brought up in the
truths of the Reformed faith, is that many in our day come to expect
this in "churches" that claim to profess the name of Christ. Alan
Colburn and Laura Henriques, two social scientists, carried out research
into the views of clergy from various denominations. Although much can
be said about the sentiments that run throughout the paper, one
statement they made struck me as particularly unbelievable:
The concept of theistic evolution
deserves special mention here because almost all the clergy we
interviewed probably held beliefs that we would characterize within
this category ... Almost all the clergy we interviewed subscribed to
the truth of evolution and natural selection as scientific
explanation and description.2
The "church" (and I use the term in a
secular sense) has become rotten, as it seeks to marry the truth of the
Scriptures with worldly humanism. "Almost all" the clergy interviewed
subscribed to the "truth" of evolution, as summed up by Colburn and
Further evidence of such teaching is not
hard to find. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in a 2006
interview with the Guardian newspaper, is quoted as saying, "My
worry is creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather
than enhancing it."3 One must be tempted to ask how the
Scriptures, given by inspiration of God, fail to do themselves justice?
When has God ever failed to put His glory first (Col. 1:16-18; Rom.
11:36)? Is the Archbishop suggesting that the inventions of (foolish)
men (Ps. 14:1; Ps. 53:1) better enhance the doctrine of creation? "Nay
but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God" (Rom. 9:20)! II
Samuel 6:6-7 serves as a poignant reminder to those who feel that the
LORD requires the aid of totally depraved men to heighten His glory. God
in His anger struck Uzzah dead, and so God strikes today. His Holy
Spirit is grieved by the lies proclaimed from the pulpits of these
churches, and so, withdraws. Ironically, the inventions of men, used to
bring people into their church’s, are the very tools God uses to make
them depart, giving the earthly seed over to the lusts of the flesh and
the sinful inclinations of the heart (Rom. 1:28).
The specific invention spoken of in this
circumstance is the lie of "theistic evolution." Essentially,
theistic-evolution is a man made doctrine that asserts there is a
"creator" God, yet at the same time adheres to scientific humanism,
maintaining the compatibility of the creation "story" with modern
scientific thinking on Darwinian evolution. In essence, it is a marriage
of convenience that has arisen due to conflict between the literal
biblical creation narrative and modern day evolutionary thinking. As
Parker describes evolution as a process of "time, chance, struggle and
death,"4 I will endeavour to deconstruct theistic evolution
according to this brief synopsis, in highlighting its fundamental flaws,
according to the creation narrative as found in Genesis 1.
We are all creatures of time. Genesis 1:1
begins with "In the beginning God." This teaches that God’s omnipotence
is the cause of all things; He is the foundation from which all was, is
and is to come. God is eternal, He has no beginning or no end, but as
for the creation, it clearly happened in time "the beginning." Man is
regarded (by evolutionists) as the highest step in the evolutionary
chain, yet according to Genesis 1, man was created in the beginning.
Christ reinforces this in Matthew 19:4, stating man was created male and
female, "at the beginning." This conflicts with evolutionary and hence
theistic evolutionary notions, given that man arrived approximately 5
billion years after the beginning. If this was the case, then how could
Christ possibly say that man was created from the beginning and still be
regarded as the spotless lamb of God?
The biblical narrative as penned in the
inspired scriptures clearly teaches a literal six days of creation.5
References to time are emphasised repeatedly through use of "evening and
the morning" (Gen. 1:8, 13, 19, 23, 31). Verse 14 is also clear in
relation to the idea of time. Here we see the creation of days for the
purpose of "signs," "seasons," "days" and "years." Would it not be
absurd to suggest million-year-old days, given that they were created
for a specific purpose, namely the length of seasons and years?
The genealogies, as recorded in the Old and
New Testaments, require a young earth. On the other hand, evolutionary
thinking according to modern science requires billions of years in order
to account for multiple, complex and ultimately impossible mutations to
take place. We can see that the timescales afforded by young earth
creationists and evolutionists are diametrically opposed. Undeterred by
this, theistic evolutionists marry the two, suggesting that days, as
recorded in Genesis, refer to billions of years, thus giving "time" for
evolution to take place. Ham suggests that the Genesis narrative is the
only place in the Bible where the meaning of the word "day" is
contested.6 This contestation does not arise from within the
Scriptures, where the historical narrative infers literal 24 hour days,
but instead, and crucially, arises as a result of man’s looking outside
of the Scriptures and endeavouring then, to add his theories to them.
Chance may be defined as "a possibility due
to a favourable number of circumstances." Chance, is also a fundamental
part of modern day evolutionism, even more so today according to
neo-Darwinian theory than it was in Darwin’s. Yet just as the timescales
afforded by both creationists and evolutionists are diametrically
opposed, so the evolutionary idea of "chance" is opposed to the
creationist view of God’s command and design in creation. God commanded,
and "it was so" (Gen. 1:7, 9, 11, 15, 24, 30). When God commanded, it
happened instantly, according to His plan and design (Ps. 33:9; 148:5).
In this way, he created the firmament, the solar system, flora, fauna,
man and gathered the land mass together so that is stood in the water
and through the water (Ps. 33:3-9; II Peter 3:5). There is no compromise
between "chance" and "plan and design." Theistic evolution however
suggests that God paradoxically used "chance" to create. This idea is
fundamentally flawed, especially when we consider the methods (struggle
and death) they claim God used.
Struggle and Death
Struggle and death have been highlighted as
key concepts in evolutionary theory. Theistic evolutionists transfer
these, as methods that God used in "creating by chance." As reformed
believers however, we wholly reject this error.
Struggle and death are unnatural, they are
not natural. The bible teaches us that struggle and death entered the
world as a result of sin (Gen. 3:16-19; Rom. 5:12; 6:23). Before sin,
however, there was no death; "it was good" (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21,
25) or "very good" (Gen. 1:31). The logical conclusion that we draw
here, is that in a world without death (as the pre-fall world was),
there can be no evolution. Likewise, in a world without evolution, there
is only "In the beginning, God." Paul the apostle clearly warns us in
saying, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain
deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world,
and not after Christ" (Col. 2:8). We do wisely to take heed.
Not only does this get to the heart of the
issue, but it highlights the tragedy that is theistic evolution.
Evolution ousts the need for God and completely denies Him, giving
"atheism credibility" (according to Richard Dawkins). Theistic evolution
attempts to compromise, by bridging the man-made gap between the Genesis
account and Darwinian evolution. It makes this attempt to soften the
truth of the gospel, to make the church seem more contemporary and
compatible with secular thinking. Its acceptance however has not lead to
an increase, but rather, a falling away, as the truth of the gospel is
diminished and scoffed.
Denial of "death by sin" is an outright
attack on the very truth of the infallibility of Holy Scripture. If the
Genesis account of creation is false, then perhaps so is the virgin
birth—perhaps Christ did not suffer and die—and even if he did come
once, then perhaps He will not come again! II Peter 3:3 warns us of such
scoffers. Theistic evolution opens the door to them and, in doing so,
attacks the very hope of the child of God.
Worse still, theistic evolution logically
must conclude that Christ is an ineligible sacrifice, wholly incapable
of bearing our sin. The Heidelberg Catechism states that "one who
is himself a sinner, cannot satisfy for others" (Q. & A. 16). Likewise,
the revelation of Holy Scriptures testifies to the truth of a literal
interpretation of Genesis (Matt. 19:4, Mark 10:6; I Cor. 11:9). If these
interpretations given to us by Christ and the Apostle Paul (through whom
Christ speaks), then surely this makes Christ a liar. Can a liar satisfy
for the sins of God’s people? Theistic evolution completely removes the
hope of the Christian, marrying the light with the darkness, in an
unholy union. What fellowship has the light with darkness (II Cor.
6:14-16). "Buy the truth, and sell it not" (Prov. 23:23).
Thankfully, despite the apostasy that we
see in this evil day, God is a merciful and loving God, and so preserves
His true church, a remnant, adopted into His family by grace and
preserved by His power. As our sure record, we have the Scriptures,
God’s special revelation to us (II Tim. 3:16). And so, let us marvel at
the beauty and wonder of the creation. As Bavinck explains so well, may
it strengthen our faith, confirm our trust in God, be a source of
consolation in our suffering, inspire praise and thanksgiving and induce
humility and meekness in us, His people.7 Praise be to God!
Gary Parker, Creation, Facts of Life. How Real Science Reveals
the Hand of God (USA: Master Books, 2008), p. 11.
A. Colburn and L. Henriques, "Clergy views on Evolution, Creationism,
Science, and Religion," Journal of Research in Science Teaching,
vol. 43:3 (2006), p. 435.
Gary Parker, Creation, Facts of Life. How Real Science Reveals the
Hand of God.
James Laning, "Created in Six Literal Days," Standard Bearer,
vol. 86:8 (2010), p. 187.
Herman Bavinck, In the Beginning. Foundations of Creation
(Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999).