Creation vs. Evolution — The New Shape of the Debate – Albert Mohler

from Albert Mohler:

This is the new shape of the debate over evolution. We now face the undeniable truth that the most basic and fundamental questions of biblical authority and gospel integrity are at stake. Are you ready for this debate?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The debate over Darwinism rages on, with almost every week bringing a new salvo in the Great Controversy. The reason for this is simple and straightforward — naturalistic evolution is the great intellectual rival to Christianity in the Western world. It is the creation myth of the secular elites and their intellectual weapon of choice in public debate.

In some sense, this has been true ever since Darwin. When Charles Darwin developed and published his theory of natural selection, the most obvious question to appear to informed minds was this: Can the theory of evolution be reconciled with the Christian faith?

The emergence of evolution as a theory of origins and the existence of life forms presented a clear challenge to the account of creation offered within the Bible, especially in the opening chapters of Genesis. At face value, these accounts seem irreconcilable.

There were a good many intrepid and honest souls in the nineteenth century who understood the reality that, if evolution is true, the Bible must be radically reinterpreted. Others went further and, like the New Atheists in our time, seized upon evolution as an intellectual weapon to be used against Christianity.

There were others who attempted to mediate between evolution and Christianity. In the most common form of the argument, they asserted that the Bible tells the story of the who and the why of creation, but not the how. The how was left to empirical science and its theory of evolution.

In more recent years, this argument has been made from the evolutionary side of the argument by the late Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard University, who proposed that the worlds of science and religious faith were completely separate, constituting “non-overlapping magisteria.” In effect, he argued that religion and science cannot conflict, since they do not address the same questions.

The problem with this argument is obvious: Darwinism and Genesis do clearly overlap. The Bible does not merely speak of the who and the why. It also makes explicit claims concerning the how. Likewise, even a cursory review of the evolutionary literature indicates that evolutionary scientists routinely make assertions concerning the who and why questions. It is just not intellectually honest to argue that evolutionary theory deals only with the mechanisms of the existence of the Cosmos and that the Bible deals only with the meaning of creation.

Another approach had been taken by some Christian theologians in the nineteenth century. In their own way, even some among the honored and orthodox “Princeton Theologians” attempted to argue that there was no necessary conflict between Genesis and Darwin. They were so convinced of the power of empirical science and of the authority of Scripture that they were absolutely sure that the progress of science would eventually prove the truthfulness of the Bible.

What these theologians did not recognize was the naturalistic bent of modern science. The framers of modern evolutionary theory did not move toward an acknowledgment of divine causality. To the contrary, Darwin’s central defenders today oppose even the idea known as “Intelligent Design.” Their worldview is that of a sterile box filled only with naturalistic precepts.

From the beginning of this conflict, there have been those who have attempted some form of accommodation with Darwinism. In its most common form, this amounts to some version of “theistic evolution” — the idea that the evolutionary process is guided by God in order to accomplish his divine purposes.

Given the stakes in this public controversy, the attractiveness of theistic evolution becomes clear. The creation of a middle ground between Christianity and evolution would resolve a great cultural and intellectual conflict. Yet, in the process of attempting to negotiate this new middle ground, it is the Bible and the entirety of Christian theology that gives way, not evolutionary theory. Theistic evolution is a biblical and theological disaster.

The mainstream doctrine of evolution held by the scientific establishment and tenaciously defended by its advocates does not even allow for the possibility of a divinely implanted meaning in the Cosmos, much less for any divine guidance of the evolutionary process. There has been an unrelenting push of evolutionary theory deeper and deeper into purely naturalistic assumptions and an ever-increasing hostility to Christian truth claims.

On the other side of the equation, the injury to Christian convictions is incalculable. At the very least, the acceptance of evolutionary theory requires that the first two chapters of Genesis be read merely as a literary rendering that offers no historical data. But, of course, the injury does not end there.

If evolution is true, then the entire narrative of the Bible has to be revised and reinterpreted. The evolutionary account is not only incompatible with any historical affirmation of Genesis, but it is also incompatible with the claim that all humanity is descended from Adam and the claim that in Adam all humanity fell into sin and guilt. The Bible’s account of the Fall and its consequences is utterly incompatible with evolutionary theory. The third chapter of Genesis is as problematic for evolutionary theory as the first two.

The naturalistic evolutionists are now pressing their case in moral as well as intellectual terms. Increasingly, they are arguing that a refusal to accept evolution represents a thought crime of sorts. They are using all the tools and arguments at their disposal to discredit any denial of evolution and to marginalize voices who question the dogma of Darwinism. They are working hard to establish unquestioned belief in evolution as the only right-minded and publicly acceptable position. They have already succeeded among the intellectual elites. Their main project now is the projection of this victory throughout popular culture.

Among the theistic evolutionists, the issues are becoming clearer almost every day that passes. Proponents of theistic evolution are now engaged in the public rejection of biblical inerrancy — with some calling the affirmation of the Bible’s inerrancy as an intellectual disaster and “intellectual cul-de-sac.” Others now openly assert that we must forfeit belief in an historical Adam, an historical Fall, and a universal Flood.

Thus, the vise of evolutionary theory is now revealing the fault lines of the current debate. There can be no question but that the authority of the Bible and the truthfulness of the Gospel are now clearly at stake. The New Testament clearly establishes the Gospel of Jesus Christ upon the foundation of the Bible’s account of creation. If there was no historical Adam and no historical Fall, the Gospel is no longer understood in biblical terms.

This is the new shape of the debate over evolution. We now face the undeniable truth that the most basic and fundamental questions of biblical authority and gospel integrity are at stake. Are you ready for this debate?

11 comentarii (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Procesul ignoranţei: acuzat Charles Darwin
  2. Madd Scientist
    sept. 29, 2011 @ 23:44:43

    How do the Christian Evolutionists explain Genesis 1:21? This scripture is very clear about the unique processes of creation of various species. Why should God use Evolution for this process? Is God not omnipotent? What is evolution? It is an explanation of life processes involved in the formation of various species without the intervention of a non human higher power. The enormous complexity of even a unicellular organism shows us that these processes cannot self create.

    • rodi
      sept. 30, 2011 @ 00:21:18

      The Christian Evolutionists look at complex created matters such as our Universe and say it was created by random and out of nothing. There is much absurdity in that simplistic answer, yet they consider Christians backward and unintelligent in our faith in an intelligent designer whose fingerprints are all over creation. Have you seen this video?
      There is so much intelligent design in everything from the cell to the Universe that it takes more faith to believe in its randomness, than to believe in a holy and perfect God being the author of it all!
      What a God we serve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Madd Scientist
    sept. 30, 2011 @ 12:18:14

    Here is a challenge to those who believe in naturalism. Alright, I have a puzzle which has 20 pieces. This needs to be assembled. Can any Christian Scientist demonstrate to me that these individual pieces can self assemble as a result of random choice and natural selection?You can shake this up a million times. Chances of the assembly is less than 1 in 10 million which is statistically improbable. The practical reality is that the pieces might break and then no assembly will ever occur. The inference is this aassembly process requiers „Intelligence” Let me give a little help here. Steve Jobs and his friend were playing in their garage with microprocessors, electronic components etc. They had thoruough knowledge of how these electronic components work. With the hardware and thorough knowledge, they DESIGNED the first Apple computer. This complex device needed a DESIGNER. This computer never evolved from copper, plastic, silicon etc through an accident. If a tiny computer needed a Designer for its creation, how could a lot more complex and incomrehensible biological cell come into existence without a Designer?

    • rodi
      sept. 30, 2011 @ 18:12:52

      I have had agnostics and atheists on my blog, but have not heard from Christian Scientists or Christians who believe in evolution, yet. Maybe we will.

  4. madd scientist
    sept. 30, 2011 @ 21:08:29

    No, I do not expect them to respond because they know that they are on shaky grounds. Only thing they will do is to shut down any challenge to their flawed ideology by attacking the messenger because the message offends them and their „Ego”

  5. Madd Scientist
    oct. 04, 2011 @ 20:11:09

    Richard Dawkins will not debate anyone. Even if he debates, he is like an attack dog. He will never let his critic finish a sentence. He would cut them off. Because he cannot defend his own position.

    Dinesh De Souza is achristian historian and philosopher who wrote the classic „WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT CHRISTIANITY?”This is an excellent book on the history of Christianity and Science. Half of the book is a master piece. Towards the end, he embraces Evolution. He shot himself in his foot. I cannot understand this at all.

    • rodi
      oct. 04, 2011 @ 23:27:27

      You are right about De Souza; he is briliiant and lots of college students learn a lot from him, yet as you say he becomes confusing to this same group of college kids by embracing the theory of evolution. But he is a product of the newer/younger thinking and it seems like more and more folks of the younger generation are embracing evolution as accepted science and the older generation is timid in challenging it b/c they do not want to look outmoded or uneducated. But the Word of God remains the same for every generation!

      • madd scientist
        oct. 05, 2011 @ 19:41:26

        I am really concerned. Zacharias endorsed De Souza as well as Francis Collins. But, his Assistants Danielle and Margaret defended Zacharias by stating that Zacharis does not agree with everything they say. This is a lame excuse. It is time for Zacharias to call a spade, a spade rather than dodging the question as well as bungling in order to side track the main issue. Ultimately, he does not want to offend Collins. After all, Zacharias can offend God and not his friend who sold his soul for 30 pieces of silver.

        • rodi
          oct. 05, 2011 @ 22:24:44

          Do you know if Ravi Zacharias ever wrote or lectured on the creation vs. evolution subject ? I think his support of other apologists who differ on this view is not much different from Christian leaders who also support other big names who differ as well. I personally can’t rationalize how they reconcile on this issue, yet I can kind of understand because, for example, I read and listen to almost everything that Tim Keller preaches and it is very Biblical, yet he also holds different views than I do on Creation/Evolution. I think that is what Ravi’s stance may be also. He knows how much help both Collins and D Souza are in some of their apologetics, so he takes the good and recommends it. Like you, I disagree with that because then Ravi Zacharias seems to endorse the fact that believing in evolution is not a major problem when in fact it is a very major problem because it undercuts the Biblical inerrancy/authority issue which will do more to drive people to atheism than the fact that he compromises thinking that it will help some students/people. When you weigh both sides; it is a lose/lose situation. If you read the Church Fathers and great preachers and leaders throughout the ages, you will see a lot of faults in some of their beliefs, yet all those men contributed some great ideas and wisdom that helped shape our doctrines up to and including our time, so it is not a surprise that we are to be let down from yet another great man such as Ravi Zacharias through these puzzling endorsements.

  6. Trackback: Darwin’s Doubt: Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (Kenneth Samples) « agnus dei – english + romanian blog
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