Reformed Legend Forced To Resign Over Theistic Evolution
Old Testament professor par excellence Bruce Waltke was forced to resign from Reformed Theological Seminary because he advocates a form of theistic evolution.
“When it comes to incriminating videos these days, the one of Bruce K. Waltke might seem pretty tame. It shows the noted evangelical scholar of the Old Testament talking about scholarship, faith and evolution. What was incriminating? He not only endorsed evolution, but said that evangelical Christianity could face a crisis for not coming to accept science.
“If the data is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution, to deny that reality will make us a cult … some odd group that is not really interacting with the world. And rightly so, because we are not using our gifts and trusting God’s Providence that brought us to this point of our awareness,” he says, according to several accounts by those who have seen the video. Those words set off a furor at the Reformed Theological Seminary, where Waltke was — until this week — a professor. (The seminary is evangelical, with ties to several denominations.)” (USA Today)
He was immediately hired by Knox Theological Seminary, but the situation has rocked the Reformed academia.
For those who are unfamiliar with Waltke, I can’t think of any Reformed OT scholar held in higher regard by more people.
Waltke’s summary of his position:
“The best harmonious synthesis of the special revelation of the Bible, of the general revelation of human nature that distinguishes between right and wrong and consciously or unconsciously craves God, and of science is the theory of theistic evolution.
By “theistic evolution” I mean that the God of Israel, to bring glory to himself,
1. created all the things that are out of nothing and sustains them
2. incredibly, against the laws probability, finely tuned the essential properties of the universe to produce ADAM, who is capable of reflecting upon their origins
3. within his providence allowed the process of natural selection and of cataclysmic interventions – such as the meteor that extinguished the dinosaurs, enabling mammals to dominate the earth – to produce awe-inspiring creatures, especially ADAM
4. by direct creation made ADAM a spiritual being, an image of divine beings, for fellowship with himself by faith
5. allowed ADAM to freely choose to follow their primitive animal nature and to usurp the rule of God instead of living by faith in God, losing fellowship with their physical and spiritual Creator
6. and in his mercy chose from fallen ADAM the Israel of God, whom he regenerated by the Holy Spirit, in connection with their faith in Jesus Christ, the Second Adam, for fellowship with himself.”
To say that this concerns me is an understatement.
I don’t understand the scientific issues, but Waltke affirms a literal Adam and Eve , the fall, and every other major Christian doctrine.
He is renowned as a Hebrew scholar and thousands have profited from his insights on the OT.
Is he outside orthodoxy or just outside the Reformed confessions?
Can we disagree on this issue and remain brethren or does any acceptance of any form of evolution put you outside the camp?
The mans love of Christ is evident to anyone who has ever sat under his teaching…what do we do with Waltke?
Sure don’t understand the timing. It’s not like it’s 1922 anymore. Evolution is losing adherents as the evidence for intelligent design keeps stacking up.
A shame really.
Ugh. Just ugh. Praying for Waltke.
This is quite unfortunate, IMHO.
Maybe Waltke needs to move into different Reformed circles — like Calvin College, for instance. They’ve had theistic evolutionists there for decades.
I agree with Waltke’s quote.
I hate to see people draw the line of orthodoxy to include strict conformity vis-a-vis origins. There’s legit. discussion about whether Genesis should be read as if it’s a science text.
I recommend the book “I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution,” by Dennis Lamoureaux.
His position is called “evolutionary creationism.” Might be a bit rad for folks on here.
Somehow I wonder if the Enemy isn’t chortling over this, with the world is going to hell in a handbasket. This just encourages more of a church ghetto mentality. .is all this infighting really necessary?
In Ortholandia, there’s a lot of leaders who believe in theistic evolution and a lot who believe in a literal six-day creation. IMO, as long as we believe in a literal Adam and Eve I don’t really care too much.
I do know that Creation Museums that show dioramas of people and dinosaurs walking along together make Christianity look ridiculous. I know people whose entire Christian life revolves around attempting to prove Young Earth Creationism. I know some people who believe early humans (Adam and Eve and immediate descendants) were technologically more advanced that we are today and try to convince people that the lowly Baghdad Battery was …. oh, never mind. You get my drift.
The death of that innocent animal used to cover Adam & Eve (replacing the fig leaves) sure loses all its meaning to me if I am supposed to understand that God created all sorts of creatures first, well before Adam & Eve, then chose to kill them all.
If I read points 3 and 4 properly, Waltke does not see Adam & Eve as directly created, except in their spirits. They are evolved mammals, and at a certain state of evolution God chose two of these higher primates and directly gave them a spirit, like His. I am open to correction if I am mistating his case, but read 3 and 4 TOGETHER, and tell me he is implying something different. And then add point 5 to the mix “primitive animal nature”? THAT is the sinlessly created Adam of the Bible?
Frankly, theistic evolution does not seem to be either theistic or evolution. What Waltke describes would not be accepted by an evolutionist (the personal oversight of an omnipotent sovereign God), nor is it supported in any meaningful, clear way in Scripture.
Having said all that…of course the guy is saved and my brother in the Lord (as best as any of us can make that determination of another).
First thank You Michael for taking the hard / high road. I have followed this with great interest, and again I say I am not a biologist, lack knowledge, want correction etc. But the rhetoric, and that is all that it is, that evolution has no validity do not seem to read the many many supports for the modern view. With the mapping of the human Gnome their is even more support for the validity of evolution. First it seem science does not seek absolute truth, but it seems to seek validity to observed data. That is an extremely simple view I admit, again I am not a scientist, Biologist fill in the blank. But our side of the fence offers, Answers in Genesis and Ray Comforts pathetic spew and waist of plant materials (paper) to the Origins of Species that he handed out to thousands of people at universities.. Well basically it made us Christians look like, never mind. He has been totally refuted, totally, with jelly on top.
I made a statement, and was called on it, maybe I am wrong but the same science that validates evolution, validates the production of vaccines, and other medical advances. I still hold that position. It is not just biology that is effected but a variety of scientific pursuits that have produced results. Again I could be wrong, I am not a scientist, hope that is clear never ever claimed to be, but it seems there is a great deal of material that supports evolution. In my opinion Dr. Waltke chose the high road. He left to avoid causing pain, granted that is not the new reformed view, stay and sink the ship to prove your apologetic, but I would choose to leave like he did. Biological evolution like it or not seems to be the modern bedrock of medical science at least to some degree. Again I am not a scientist and lack knowledge, consider this a plea for some.
With this our tradition demands a literal creation account, Yec or old earth creation, a literal flood of the entire world and so on. I would hold that we need to offer some type of evidence. I hold that I want, desperately to believe, I spend hours on my face trying. OK I admit it I am a moral degenerate worthy of hell, pond scum at best, but I dont see it. Then I see God honoring men like Dr. Waltke get canned for speaking out. If men of his caliber get the ax, what hope do the bottom fish such as myself have?. Hay I would chuck the whole idea just to be part of the “brethren”, but even that is to much to ask. I haver did get that, really I never did.
“Sure don’t understand the timing. It’s not like it’s 1922 anymore. Evolution is losing adherents as the evidence for intelligent design keeps stacking up.”
If I could beg, which I am, could you please list these sources it would be of great help. Thank You.
I spent quite a bit of time in study on this whole debate. Too much time in fact, years. Through it, I went to war with my local school board, and lost because my contentions were based on faith, and would not be allowed in the schools. But they did let me publicly debate the issues with the teachers. I could have been learning more important things during that time.
Anyway, I am not convinced at all that there is a “theistic evolution”. In my not so humble opinion, I think it is silly and childish. To slap a Jesus fish on the bumper of a popular scientific theory is as brain dead as slapping a GOP bumper sticker on Jesus. It was never God’s intention to explain the nuts and bolts of how He created what He created, or he would have. God said that the whole of creation proclaims God’s glory. Enough said.
However, to disqualify one from teaching the Old Testament because he believes in a form of “theistic evolution” does not make sense to me, unless said professor is interjecting more science into the Genesis account, and God’s answers to Job and his friends, than is really there, in which case, it might call into question his ability to properly exegete scripture.
If he is guilty of defiance to the confessions, that is between him and his denomination’s council. I would not say that he is heretical. No way. The Bible is not a science text book. If people are not allowed to come to their own conclusions about things that scripture is silent on, then I am disqualified from any form of ministry, along with presumably everyone here.
That’s a good link, Lutheran, thanks. Lots to think about here.
Although I did not know Calvin Coolidge was a theistic evolutionist.
Personally I believe the subject of the firing is the right of the University to establish a standard of subject matter it will support. While this man is a fine educator with an excellent record this seminary has the right to fire him because they feel his teaching are not what they want to be known for.
I don’t think Christianity will be in danger of becoming a cult if we learn to deal with differences with more grace. People and organizations are drawing lines in the sand which are more divisive than allowing for difference and on-going discussion and debate. Evangelicals are perhaps the most likely group to fall into a cult-like mentality, especially if certain shrill voices continue to set the tone. Post-modernism continues to rise, despite the protestations of those stuck in a modernist mindset.
i’m not sure when the disciplines of scientific thot came on the scene (1800s?), but as soon as the scientist announced that they could prove ‘the Judeo Christian Bible can’t be trusted’ this match began… and i suspect it is the devil’s masterpiece of a red herring.
i don’t know how long the Genesis ‘day’ was – whether God made a little mud boy and got down on His knees and breathed life into him (it would be just like God to do something like that) or whether we ladies are all going to get popped back into some guys’ rib cages for Eternity ( sure hope not), but boxing with scientists over something that no one knows for sure shows a lack of common sense all around – IMO
I don’t have a dog in this hunt other than the need to affirm a literal Adam, fall, etc.
The literary genre of Genesis 1 lends itself to different interpretations within the framework of orthodoxy.
By most definitions a ‘miracle’ is a violation of scientific law(s). The same majority scientific consensus supporting evolution denies ALL miracles of the Bible. They are seen as either made-up fairy tales or, if there seems enough history to them, they are then explained in a nonmiraculous manner (i.e. crossing of the Sea of Reeds).
Creation is the one miracles in the Bible that MUST have a substitute explanation, because after all, we are all here. Whereas there have been great Bible-believing scientists of the past who, in large part because they believed the universe was ordered by a God of law, have made wonderful discoveries, the theory of evolution was not advanced by such people. Nor is it advanced today by such people.
In addition, non-Biblical scientists, as they learn more and more in their field, are arguing there is design, not randomly mutated chance, to the universe. The pendulum is swinging away from Darwin today.
I am not a scientist. I have read creationist scientists far more brilliant than me. Men who teach at the university level, have earned the degrees, been published in the journals. I’m not talking Ken Hovind types.
I have read the evolutionists as well.
I also see the history of evolution filled with unfulfilled promises (i.e. fossil record), occasional frauds, false beliefs that were later jettisoned (yet sold as scientific FACT for a time and included in all the textbooks), and eventual major revision by Dr. Gould and others. I have also watched other scientific advancements made possible by technology cause great damage to the theory of a man who thought of a simple cell and promised the fossil record would prove him correct. Electron microscopes, DNA etc. all new since Darwin’s time.
If I need to be a scientist to discuss miracles in the Bible, I better find something else to do. As with anything in the Bible, I owe it to the Lord to study to show myself approved. Likewise, to teach the truth in love. If these two are practived (study and love), most of the deserving evangelical bad press would disappear on this issue, at least from ‘our’ side.
Some will hate or mock me just because WHAT I teach, and I could care less. Puts me in some good Biblical company quite frankly. If I give them cause to hate or mock for HOW I teach, then that is on me, and I need to seek the Lord.
I am not going to drag the thread into this debate as to specifics, so rather I wanted to explain my position from a broader perspective, for anyone interested. I will be busy most of the day, but frankly, don’t have much to add. I’m not going to convince anyone differently.
As to Dr. Waltke – I wonder what his view on the worldwide flood happens to be (for those who do desire this argument, I believe the flood must be included hand-in-hand with the Genesis One and Two material). I wonder if he believes man lived for 900 plus years before the Flood. (Which is why I have never had a ‘dinosaur’ problem – since reptiles grow all the while they are alive, and man was living 900 years, I assume some of them lived for centuries as well – most dinosaurs are smaller than elephants anyway, and we know their eggs were nothing spectacular in size.)
If he does believe (and teach) these clear Biblical teachings on the Flood and the once old-age of man, I wonder why he does. The evolutionists sure don’t.
Waltke does believe in a global flood.
global flood? me too – as if that matters 🙄
mountains rose up, valleys sank down, the fountains of the deep broke up (er something like that) – our God is a mighty God! God can make the earth move and has done so … it’s just trembling these days – i fervently wish it wouldn’t, tho
Man is so arrogant. I think, after death, after we bask in the glory of the Lord, we are going to sit back and laugh at all the crazy ideas we believed were based in reality. Then, if even possible in His presence, we will be sad at how we persecuted others for not agreeing with our man made realities.
Poor Bruce, thinking out of the box…..
I believe what the Bible says, anything after that is just a theory…
I think Waltke’s main concern is that we stay engaged and conversant with science.
Brian has some interesting points that I think are worthy of address.
Science attempt to prove evolution is as foolish as science attempt to disprove God.
These kinds of things are what make outsiders unimpressed with Christianity. We always seems to be fighting and bickering with each other over issues of theology.
Perhaps…but the real reason is that the cross is an offense.
I wish it was “just” the cross that was offensive. I think I could explain that. I can’t always explain, though, the offense his followers can be at times!
Michael BTW 🙂
I don’t personally believe in theistic evolution. But I have a great deal of respect for Waltke, and I think he has a lot to offer. Who better to help us work our way through these issues with intelligence and understanding than someone like him? If we become afraid of those close to us who disagree with us on certain points we are weakening our own position. Winning the argument is so much more effective than silencing the debate. We have often become intellectually lazy.
It is interesting that 100 years ago R. A. Torrey was allowed to be the President of Moody Bible Institute, and the first dean of Biola College, while believing in theistic evolution. (And Torrey, one of my personal heroes, was the man who compiled The Fundamentals, and was the greatest advocate for the Inerrancy of Scripture.) I wonder if those two institutions would hire him today? Strange days indeed.
Letter from Waltke on Facebook:
Holy week and the Monday through Wednesday of this week have been a uniquely hectic experience in my 79 years, to say the least. So hectic, I did not even follow the New York Yankees in the New York Times, my team for more than 70 years! I knew the issue of Genesis 1-3 and evolution was emotionally charged, but not this charged. Worse yet, I unwittingly involved the RTS community, especially Ric, in the brouhaha. I sincerely apologize to you and especially to Ric for not handling the matter more discretely.
Ric’s acceptance of my resignation has only added to the emotional turmoil; I have received letters from many quarters condemning RTS for his action. In fact, I was asked to be interviewed about my resignation on ABC News with Diane Sawyer! Of course, I refused because I am certain it would have been spun to reflect negatively on RTS and the church.
I am writing to assure you that I find no fault with the RTS administration; in fact, I think they did the right thing. Let me explain.
As noted, I did not have a chance to vet the video. How would I have edited it?
I would have entitled it “why the church should accept creation by the process of evolution,” not “why the church must accept evolution.” Also I would have emphasized in writing that the introductory “If” is a big “if,” because I am not a scientist. Having familiarized myself with reconciliations of religion and science by: Institute of Creation Research (Henry Morris, young earth, no evolution), Reason to Believe (Hugh Ross, old earth, no evolution), Intelligent Design (Philip Johnson, no view on age of earth, but no evolution), BioLogos (intelligent design [lower case] and evolution) and Framework hypothesis (non-committal to any of these views), I consider that of BioLogos the best.
I would have deleted my position as a professor at RTS. This was the real problem. I was speaking as an individual, not as a representative of RTS. It may well be that I am the only one on the faculty holding the view of creation by the process of evolution as understood by mainline science, apart from its normal atheistic philosophy. As it stands, I dragged the whole community in the misunderstandings.
I would have clarified in writing that by evolution I mean theistic evolution, not naturalistic evolution. And I would have defined theistic evolution as I do in my Old Testament Theology
I would have called attention to literature such as Henri Blocher, In the Beginning, and Francis S. Collins, The Language of God that present the case for evolution. (I read Blocher, a brilliant French Reformed Baptist theologian 25 years ago.)
I would have also called attention to my An Old Testament Theology and W.R.L. Moberly, The Theology of Genesis, explaining why I think Genesis can accommodate creation by the process of evolution.
I would have called attention to older classic dogmatic theologies such as Shedd and Strong who also held to theistic evolution. I am told that B.B. Warfield held this view but I have been unable thus far to document that.
I would have suggested to Ric that he call attention to others in the PCA who also held this view.
All “would haves” due to the poor way in which the video was handled by BioLogos and me.
Regarding the future I hope and pray:
this fiasco will not hinder RTS from being open to theistic evolution as I have defined it.
I will not be identified by the idiosyncrasy of being “a theistic evolutionist,” like a “cripple,” “a mute,” etc. This topic is neither my field of expertise nor my hobby-horse, I want to get off it as quickly as I can.
RTS’ reputation will not be tarnished. I will do all I can to that end, such as writing this letter.
our love for one another will increase more and more
Our community is based on the rock-solid foundation that our Triune God’s sovereignty over all things is informed by sublimities that surpass our imagination and our ability to praise them.
Tuesday evening I received the call from the dean of another seminary to teach there. He, the executives of the seminary and I are praying about this with thanksgiving.
Your brother in Christ,
You have a valid point! 🙂
In recent years I have become fairly sure and confident in my theology and don’t fear or feel the need to protect it but rather respectfully listen and learn from others and they from me. Together, given time, we come to the truth I am not threatened by the dialogue is what I am saying.
On the issue is evolution the answers are not as simple as the Christians would like to make it but neither are they as complex at the evolutionist like to think. We need guys like this prof to, as was said before, keep the door of dialogue open between science and intelligent design
As Waltke wrote Shedd, Strong, (of Strongs numbers) and B.B. Warfield also held to this.
I wonder if those two institutions would hire him today?
Fair question. We could also ask if today, given the science and apologetic, he would still hold to the theistic evolution view he held 100 years ago. Likewise the aforementioned Shedd, Strong, Warfield.
I very likely would have been a theistic evolutionist 100 years ago. I don’t know either way of course, but it is highly likely. There is evidence that Willian Jennings Bryan was quite open to theistic evolution, yet he is the poster boy of the world for stupidity in Biblical belief due to the portrayal of the Scopes trial.
One thing to note about science as practiced today. Evolution is not questioned. We certainly see this in fossil discovery. When observations become ‘problematic’ an explanation is sought under the template of current evolutionary theory. On occasion, enough problems in one’s field of expertise have caused some to abandon evolution in favor of ID.
This is akin to the theologian and inerrancy. Please note, I am NOT saying inerrancy is incompatible with alternate Genesis theories. Nobody argue that strawman. I am looking at the bigger picture of inerrancy here.
For those like me who hold to inerrancy, any problems that would seem to be contradictory or in historical error are evaluated and explained under the template of inerrancy. I do not jettison the theory of inerrancy, nor do I consider doing so. (Archer has written some great stuff in this area of dealing with the ‘mistakes’ as to inerrancy) On occasion a pastor or theologian will feel there are too many such problems and WILL abandon inerrancy and embrace a different Bibliology.
Let’s not pretend though that one is more academic or less intelligent than the other. The biologist or archaeologist is doing all his work under a template that guides him. A template that he accepts by faith as established by those who have gone before him.
I appreciate the words of Dr. Waltke who clearly shows that he studied the issue from ALL angles, and came to his own conclusion.
So should we all.
Somebody else who is more knowledgeable than me could correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it pretty standard for those who believe/teach theistic evolution also believe/teach a local flood. If Waltke believes in a global flood, he probably would be separating himself in this regard from the teachings of most theistic evolutionists.
I personally believe that theistic evolution is the worst of three options (theistic evolution, old earth creationism, and young earth creationism). However I do think that those who hold strongly to one position or another will often go too far in denouncing those who believe differently and become too divisive. I certainly don’t see Waltke doing that here and I appreciate the spirit in which he seems to be approaching this matter.
Dr. Waltke will be here in the valley in a couple of weeks and I hope to sneak a couple minutes with him.
Michael…you’ll like him. He’s very personable, but pretty no-nonsense as well.
Fron the classes I’ve listened to and the articles he written, I think I’m going to like him a lot.
Anybody of his stature that will come to Medford is humble… 🙂
My best memories of him are seeing him coming and going from class on his bicycle every day. Oh, and sprinting down the stairs from his office when we were all whining about how tired we were after weekend school. He outlasted all of us.
My God/Your God/Our God is to some far more wimpy than the understanding some of us have.
I will not embrace the spirit of antichrist that makes it’s bed in evilution.
Dr. Paul/Apostle Paul/Pastor Paul gave far better instruction to his student – Timothy – than the revered ‘Legendary’ teachers of todays seminaries.
I’m a total schizophrenic on this subject. All my life I have believed simultaneously in Young Earth Creationism (YEC) and theistic evolution. At home and at church, I believe in a literal six-day creation. At school, I believed in theistic evolution. Factoids and proofs for each position are stored and sealed up in separate parts of my brain and not not permitted to mingle.
I like the YEC view because it requires a child-like faith to believe it. You have to say a big NO! to the teachings of the world to accept it. It’s radical. I like it.
Yet when I am in a college class or watching a TV nature program where evolution is a given, I find myself equally amazed at the handiwork of God. All those billions of years fits in with the Ancient of Days.
I am almost always annoyed by non-scientist preachers who try to foist psuedo-science on people. I wish they would shut up. It’s enough for Creationists to say “This is what the Bible says. Accept it on faith.” Instead they trot out fossilized hats found in Australian caves and try to tell us that the speed of light has changed.
But I am even more offended by smug scientists who try to foist pseudo-philosophy on people to demonstrated, by means of evolution, that there is no God. I had some college profs that I wanted to strangle.
Anyway… what I like about both POVs is the way they both demonstrate God’s majesty.
But we gotta keep a literal Adam and Eve. That’s where I draw the line.
That was really helpful Dr. Ron.
Excellent engagement with the ideas…not.
Those are the sort of answers that add nothing to anyones understanding.
Re: “By most definitions a ‘miracle’ is a violation of scientific law(s).”
What do we do with things that have physical evidence that does show natural conditions?
I completely believe in miracles as being outside the natural (thus supernatural), but when God heals, He doesn’t leave evidence of the natural. For example, He doesn’t supernaturally heal a back (as mine was some years ago), but leave a surgical scar. Giving false information to us would cause God to be a liar, and we all know He isn’t.
I’m an old earth creationist, semi-thestic evolutionist who also believes in a local, universal flood, because I see the physical, geological evidence as showing a very old earth and creation (semi-thestic evo because I’m not sure where or how I stand on that).
I’m not going to debate here, already had my faith called into question before, so let’s not start down that road.
btw… “natural condtions” should read “natural causes”
As Waltke wrote Shedd, Strong, (of Strongs numbers) and B.B. Warfield also held to this.
As did Augustine.
I am so ignorant of the science that I have no right to hold an opinion on it.
My concern is for folks like Brian who find the evidence compelling and are looking for ways to hold faith and science in tension.
Just for fun…science tells us their are four orders of reptiles. The gator/crocs, the lizard/snalkes, the turtles are the three common ones.
One of the orders is quite rare. It is the order the dinosaurs are mostly classed within.
Imagine that little guy if he lived (and grew) for 900 years.
There’s pastors and evangelists who try to evangelize people by first trying to convince them of a YEC view. They encounter a scientific- minded unbeliever and rather then telling them the Good News of Jesus Christ they launch into an apologetic for YEC. I’ve seen this happen so often that I’ve given considerable thought to why they do it.
I have come to the conclusion that some people are bibliolators. The Bible is their god; the Holy Trinity is just the subject of the Bible and therefore, secondary. These people have such a rigid, literal POV that any alternative explanations are viewed as an attack on their god, the Bible. I see the same thing with rigid, literal views of Revelation. The Bible is about God; it is not God.
I’ve seen too many attempts to witness that began with an attempt to prove biblical inerrancy, rather than proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. It’s almost as if these folks have no faith in God! Why not just tell people about Jesus? Do they have no faith that the Holy Spirit might quicken their heart and save them?
When did humans start … uh …. being … uh … you know, in love and all – sideways? That is the transitional state that secular evolutionists cannot handle.
Evolution is therefore disproven by love.
MacArthur chimes in…
Wlatke rocks. His .mp3s on Psalms and Proverbs are magnificent for understanding wisdom literature.
What a classy guy evidenced in the facebook letter. I think he explains everything real well. Like he said in that Facebook post, we often underestimate how deep and strong passions runs about certain areas of doctrine.
Xenia, Discussing one living God as the Creator of all things is a very Biblical way to begin a witness, and is needed with some people. I certainly agree that is folly to make the goal be YEC – but there is no Good News in Christ until someone is brought/convicted of their sins against God.
The atheist who does not believe in God, does not believe in sin therefore as a disobedience to God, is not really interested when I tell him he can be forgiven by Jesus, who likewise he does not believe was God incarnate, and certainly does not believe in His resurrection.
I know, I have tried.
My goal is never to win an argument, but to be a tool in the hand of the Lord to win a soul -knowing the results are out of my hands. We have to be led by the Spirit and I have found (or at least I believe so) that this may on occasion involve a creation/evolution discussion to plant some seeds first…
I concur…I’m going to teach through those starting next year…
Sequence of Creation Events:
1. Heavens, earth and water.
4. Land (dry ground).
5. Seas (gathered waters).
7. Stars, Sun, Moon.
8. Living creatures in the water.
9. Winged birds.
10. Living creatures on land.
Similar in order to an Evolutionary perspective in terms of “plant” like organisms / vegetation (precursors to plants) protists, evolving into water creatures, into amphibious organisms, into semi-amphibious land crawling creatures, into a higher level of land creature, into hominids, into man.
Good if he doesn’t believe the Bible…He has no business teaching it…
my view of creation is evolving. 😉
Michael, when will the esteemed Dr. W be in the valley? I might like to join you.
9:00 AM Saturday, April 24 @ Cornerstone.
That would be fun!
The church has evolved, and the canon evolved. So in terms of what we can observe, the work of God in the earth is evolution-like.
AV, I am perfectly fine with a conversation that starts out with talking about God Who created everything. I would talk about God, though, and not the process by which He did it. We probably agree about this. 🙂
Xenia, Agreed. 🙂
Modern science claims to hold the rights to knowledge and has repositioned Christianity as just a “faith” that has no authoritative claim to knowledge. Unfortunately many within Christian Academia have not discerned what has taken place over the last century where Christian leaders and followers have unwittingly accepted and subscribed to the false re-characterization of Christianity as merely a faith. As a result many feel they must reconcile their faith with the superior knowledge of science rather than seek to understand fully the knowledge they now possess of God, man, history and creation. Our body of knowledge that we now possess primarily within the framework of a relationship with Our Creator spans the physical and social sciences.
I have learned that one does not become an apostate or heretic for subscribing to theories that seek to harmonize creation with evolution.
However, I believe it is of the utmost importance for us to apprehend and apply the knowledge we now possess.
We realize that God is love. With such knowledge we can humbly yet confidently realize we have a foundational and superior knowledge in the social sciences. It is right for us to understand that we can rightly surmise that a God of love does not randomly create through vague processes. Love is orderly, purposeful and communicative. We were not there at Creation God has left us with a witness in Creation that tells us about ourselves and the created order in which we live. We live in and are subject to an orderly dimension of time. We experience and engage with a whole created order within this dimension of time.
Genesis1 2 and 3is not just nice poetry for those who have faith. It is creative and clear communication that harmonizes the knowledge of Creation and spans all the sciences.
It is my conviction that we must be humble but we must also be clear that through Jesus Christ we have been restored to a comprehensive and supremely authoritative knowledge of the whole order of creation.
We must also be aware of a pseudo humility proposed by this world system that relegates Christianity to the false realm of faith.
Christianity is a New Creation vic,
‘I have come to the conclusion that some people are bibliolators. The Bible is their god; the Holy Trinity is just the subject of the Bible and therefore, secondary. These people have such a rigid, literal POV that any alternative explanations are viewed as an attack on their god, the Bible. I see the same thing with rigid, literal views of Revelation. The Bible is about God; it is not God.”
Great thought. Right on the money.
Somehow I think you’d probably agree with this comment from John Stott:
“We have an almost superstitious attitude toward Bible reading, as if it had some magical effiicacy. But there is no magic in the Bible or any mechanical reading of the Bible. No, the written Word points us to the Living Word and says to us, “Go to Jesus.”
“Evangelical Christians are not, or ought not to be, what we are sometimes accused of being, names ‘bibliolaters,’ worshippers of the Bible. No, we do not worship the Bible; we worship the Christ of the Bible.”
in my experience it was always made extremely clear, that people like me are born apostates / heretics and that the “love of God” was extremely capricious on a good day. Each second one might be deceived, fall into the unpardonable sin and God waits, longing for that day because of just how totally utterly depraved I am. I dont believe this but it sure was the thrust of much of the conversation, I was terrified of God and even hated Him at times, Forgive me because I just could not be good enough, and that is the expectation. As silly as this sounds all I ever wanted through this was peace with God, I know that really is not an option in any practical sense but it is what I seek.
I admit to watching Christian tv tonight, I needed to see something encouraging, I admit that weakness, and it is a weakness. It talked about lending God money so we could get out of the global recession. I am still trying to grasp why the Triune Deity, creator of the universe actually needs money. I am sure I lack some spiritual gift to understand this. I had this feeling that I wanted to strike myself in the head with any large heavy object, in a figurative way. I understand these folks are working the business, which justifies what they do, it always will.
You know the only thing I ever wanted was a house, self funded, to offer respite care for people with disabilities. I would stand on my head buck naked praying the hail Mary if it helped those I work with, but I have never understood this stuff. I never have.
Though this is an older thread, I now wish I would have paid attention a year ago when this discussion was taking place.
I’ve taken the opportunity to finally look into what BioLogos was all about. This was probably sparked by the recent (April 2011) CNN Belief blog article Collins’s colleague Karl Giberson wrote (Jesus would believe in evolution and so should you).
I’ve downloaded Giberson and Collins’s new Q&A book, an interview Collins did with NPR’s Terry Gross a few years back, several interviews Collins did on his book The Language of God, Tim Keller’s paper he wrote for BioLogos, and downloaded the aforementioned Language of God book.
Science is definitely not my forte. I’m not intelligent enough to fully understand the various issues the way scientifically-minded people would. All I can tell you is that I choose to believe in a creator and that He is God as expressed in the Holy Bible, and I do not believe in naturalistic, no-God evolution.