One sometimes hears in Christian circles that if we
don’t embrace evolution, our message might repel
thoughtful and intelligent people, thus thwarting the
spread of the Gospel. Your thoughts?
In 1 Corinthians, Paul contrasts God’s wisdom with worldly
wisdom. He speaks about the “foolishness” of the Cross.
Trying to make the Gospel intellectually acceptable goes
against the Gospel’s nature. God purposefully chose a message
that contradicts worldly wisdom—which of course does not
mean it is either irrational or illogical. Besides, evolution has at
its base a philosophical materialism that is completely at odds
with Scripture. Paul says such philosophies amount to nothing.
Preach Christ crucified. It is only through this “foolishness”
that the Spirit draws people to God. And embracing evolution
actually turns people away, since they think they can’t trust
the Bible, and that God used a cruel and wasteful approach
But, some would say, why concern ourselves with
what people believe about origins, so long as they
believe in Jesus Christ?
Trying to make the Gospel ‘intellectually acceptable’ is problematic in the first instance because it contradicts many of the
foundational reasons for the Gospel. For example, it rejects
the fact that Adam’s sin plunged a previously “very good”
world into a reign of death and suffering. This is diametrically
opposed to long-age teachings, which must ‘date’ human and
animal fossils long before any ‘Adam’, meaning that death and
suffering have occurred over millions of years.
It also involves faulty ethics. Instead of believing that
humans are specially made in God’s image, with all the
ethical responsibilities that entails,
we would have to believe we are
the byproduct of a random, muta-
tive process that over a billion
years changed worms into humans.
How can that possibly be intel-
lectually satisfying, let alone
Some theologians advocate
interpreting the Bible through
the lens of contemporary
scientific consensus. Is that a
It is exactly backward. God’s Word
is eternal, science by its very nature
is tentative and subject to correction
and change. Both enterprises done
rightly should come to agreement,
as both are ordained and established
by the same God. However, the pursuit of science should
be guided by Scripture, not used to somehow contradict it.
Today’s science may very well become tomorrow’s laughing
stock as scientific theories come and go. It is foolish to try
to force our biblical reading into the temporary conclusions
Do you have in mind a particular topic about which
the scientific consensus has changed radically over
Yes. For example, before the big bang theory, the reigning
scientific paradigm was that the universe was eternal.
Christians criticized that theory and were in turn called intellectually ignorant, but believers knew from Scripture that the
universe had a beginning. It’s only about 70 years ago that the
‘big bang’ theory came into popularity, and now Christians are
told that we must hold to that scientific theory or be ignorant.
However, holding consistently to the biblical teaching about
creation is far superior to adhering to the whims of scientific
conjectures about origins.
Some contemporary Christian scholars who try to
syncretize the biblical origins account with evolutionary ideas have begun to question whether Adam
was even a literal, historical person. How does that
affect biblical theology?
Pretending that the biblical Adam is not a literal, historical
person is not only nonsensical, it is theologically deadly. The
Bible treats Adam as a real, historical person. For example,
he is listed in Jesus’ genealogy in Luke 3: 23–38. There is not
a hint in that genealogy that we should consider people like
David and Abraham to be genuine, historical people, while
men like Noah and Adam are fictitious. Denying Adam’s
A recent photograph of the student body and faculty of BISA.