BioLogos’ serpentine retelling of Genesis
Published: 23 February 2016 (GMT+10)
Come on kids! Grab a blanket, a cup of hot cocoa and let’s gather around the fireplace so I can tell you a new story!
BioLogos recently released a new video entitled “The Big Story: From Stardust to New Creation”. At first, we were told that this would be another deceptive propaganda piece that would “make us angry”. But after watching it? Deceptive? Yes, but angry? Not really. In fact, some of our staff found it quite honest and revealing in its portrayal of the typical pro-evolution and millions-of-years drivel, and at times, a little humorous. In fact, it reminded us a little of a particular deceptive character in the actual Genesis account who uttered “Did God actually say … ” (Gen 3:1).
Reverend Leonard J Vander Zee plays the role of the voice of the serpent in this radical retelling of the creation story. And why do we need to retell the creation story? Vander Zee states: “We cannot simply repeat the biblical story as if the science of origins were irrelevant.” In practice, then, a new creation story is needed because we know Genesis is wrong. This epitomizes and confirms Biologos’ complete abandonment of any significant view of biblical authority.
BioLogos has a deficient view of God throughout, but it begins when Vander Zee authoritatively proclaims in the introduction: “This only true God does not exist in our time and space but is its Creator.” Of course, this view is not Christian theism, but deism, the view that God is the creator but is removed from His creation. Vander Zee adds that to God, there is no difference between a nanosecond and billions of years. We would actually agree—that’s why when Genesis has actual chronological markers, it must be talking about human reckonings of time, because no one can understand how God perceives time!
One of the more humor-induced smile moments is when BioLogos starts their version of the ‘big story’ with the words: “Once upon a time”. For people concerned that BioLogos’ view of theistic evolution demolishes a high view of Scripture, this only serves as a confirmation. The doctrine of creation is literally the foundation of everything we believe about God as clearly shown by the rest of the Old Testament and the New Testament.
BioLogos completely disregards Scripture because their faith is in the current scientific ‘consensus’ and sees it as absolutely sacred. Therefore the big bang is treated as a fact, while key difficulties are glossed over. For instance, Vander Zee says the initial singularity expanded “only God knows how”, and that there was a tiny asymmetry between matter and antimatter that allowed our universe as we know it to exist—we don’t know how, but Vander Zee concludes the episode with “God was delighted that it all went just according to plan.” They reduce God to a hopeful observer after initially ‘winding the clock’.
Another massive disparity between Genesis and this fairy tale is how God is portrayed. In the Genesis creation account God is presented as majestic and completely in control. He speaks, and it happens. The entire Creation Week is an orderly progression that culminates in a ‘very good’, complete creation.
It is telling how far BioLogos departs from the biblical portrayal of God. Rather, they present ‘god’s’ reaction as: “The laughter of the Trinity rang throughout the cosmos” and similar statements. While this probably is taken from the portrayal of Wisdom in Proverbs 8, Proverbs is a personified trait; and God Himself is never portrayed in this less than majestic way.
Biologos degrades God when He is portrayed as not being exactly sure or in control of the outcome, though He is sure glad that everything turns out okay (until it doesn’t—more on that later). He was particularly glad that the evolutionary process eventually produced humans. Vander Zee states “Brains grew, capabilities advanced, until finally, a creature appeared with something entirely new: Human Consciousness.” Only after this unguided evolutionary process of death over billions of years did a “creature appear” and ‘god’ looks down and decides to breathe “into these conscious creatures, and they knew God, the creator of all. They stood tall and free, eyes shining with excitement and wonder before their Creator.” Really? Surprisingly, a black person is portrayed as the narrator explains that humans gained more intelligence and self-awareness. This is shockingly racist, because it presumes that what looked exactly like a black person was actually a soulless hominid. Of course, racist evolutionary portrayals are nothing new.
One major problem with the BioLogos version is that the Fall is not the result of an act of rebellion, but they state “As the story spills into history, dark shadows of sin spread over the lives of these magnificent free creatures”. This strongly implies that part of the random development of ‘creation’ itself caused human rebellion, rather than the Bible’s clear account that man’s rebellion impacted not only our fate, but profoundly impacted the creation itself. This leads to the need for the restoration, but why? This “dark shadow of sin” looks like something was wrong in this random creation itself. And because the doctrine of sin is warped, so is the doctrine of salvation.
One thing that stands out in this myth is that God does not seem to be necessary except as an observer, because everything proceeds on its own. And He does not seem to be able or desire to intervene in creation. If this was such a majestic way for God to reveal Himself and His glory, why does it need to be recreated? Will God finally directly intervene to make it the way He should have made it? And why would He wait billions of years to do so?
The first character in Scripture to reinterpret God’s Word is the serpent, Satan, and it is telling that BioLogos wants to reinterpret Scripture. When your closest biblical precedent for your handling of Scripture is the prince of darkness himself, you may want to rethink your exegetical methods!
We normally try to be charitable to our opponents, but we think it is important to warn people about destructive false teachers. So we’ve called BioLogos’ views evolutionary syncretism, which means that essentially they blend Christianity and evolution to create a non-Christian religion. BioLogos has said that Jesus could err, but how could any Christian who worships Jesus as Lord and Saviour say that? We have strongly criticized Kenton Sparks, Karl Giberson, and other TE authors for BioLogos for their unbiblical stand.
Biologos starts with the words “From the time we are little children, we all love a story”. Unfortunately, many have bought this version of the story hook, line and sinker. Please be cautioned by their very words: “But we cannot simply repeat the biblical story”. We actually believe that they show their true colours in this video. So share it, along with this response, and if you take a long-age view of Scripture, ask yourself: Is this fairy tale really what you want to be associated with?