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How evolution is driving the clergy to atheism

Abandoning the Bible for ‘science’


Published: 24 April 2014 (GMT+10)

Atheists have fired another salvo in their ongoing assault on the Bible and, in particular, the truth of Genesis and its importance in the creation-evolution debate.

This time it involves the recent publication of Caught In The Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind1 by Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola.

And it should dispel any doubts in the minds of Christians about how focused atheists are on highlighting how accepting the evolutionary view of the world is a major factor in people abandoning their faith in the God of the Bible.

The book is an extension of Richard Dawkins’ ‘The Clergy Project’, which has been described as “a confidential online community for active and former professional clergy/religious leaders who do not hold supernatural beliefs”.2

It chronicles the struggles of several mostly Christian church leaders who have become unbelievers, and is another sobering reminder of this not-so-surprising reality.

The authors seem to think they have exposed something that believers are unaware of and that it will bring down Christianity. What they see as a growing church exodus gives them that expectation.

The reality is that there always have been—and always will be—people who ‘lose their faith’, whether they occupy the pulpit or not. Consider, for example, Canadian (and Billy Graham colleague) Charles Templeton, whose spectacular fall from mass evangelist to unbeliever was in no small part linked to his doubts over Genesis.3

What the authors discovered from participants interviewed are several things Creation Ministries International and many thinking Christians have long pointed out. Sadly, many in the church:

  • have rejected the historicity of the Genesis account including that Adam and Eve were real people;
  • have accepted long ages and evolution as fact;
  • now deny Christ’s Deity.
And many seminaries now teach along all of those lines.

Atheist philosopher Dennett4 from Tufts University in Massachusetts, USA, is the author of several books including Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (1995).

His co-researcher on The Clergy Project and this book is Linda LaScola, a clinical social worker and qualitative researcher.

The foreword to the book—which is available in paperback as well as an e-publication through amazon.com—was written by antitheist Richard Dawkins.

Of the research participants, Dawkins observes:

“You are allowed opinions about football or chimney pots, but when it comes to the deep questions of existence, origins, much of science, everything about ethics, you are told what to think; or you have to parrot your thoughts from a book, written by unknown authors in ancient deserts. If your reading, your thinking, your conversations, lead you to change your opinions you can never divulge your secret. If you breathe a hint of your doubts you will lose your job, your livelihood, the respect of your community, your friends, perhaps even your family. At the same time, the job demands the highest standards of moral rectitude, so the double life you are leading torments you with a wasting sense of shameful hypocrisy. Such is the predicament of those priests, rabbis and pastors who have lost their faith but remain in post.”5
Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins sees clergy leaving the pulpit as a sign the church is dying.

Dawkins makes another telling comment:

“If the evidence before your eyes doesn’t support a belief, you cannot will yourself to believe it anyway.”6

But Dawkins knows that dissent within the church does not bring the same sort of backlash which even the slightest hint of questioning evolution does, as has been well documented by Dr Jerry Bergman7 and others.

“It is hard not to feel sympathy for those men and women caught in the pulpit”, Dawkins writes8 as he continues to lay out the framework of his concern for such individuals while also referring to his part in setting up The Clergy Project.

But does Dawkins feel the same sympathy for those who have lost their jobs and been ostracized by evolutionists?

Dawkins makes much of the lengths to which the project and the authors have gone to protect the doubting clergy from being exposed, and is encouraged by the growing numbers (more than 500) who are abandoning Christianity. He sees them as “the thin end of a very large wedge, tip of a reassuringly large iceberg, harbingers of a coming and very welcome tipping point, this book will be seen as—to mix metaphors yet again with pardonable glee—the miner’s canary”.9

Of course, he would hardly see more and more evolutionists abandoning materialism and turning to Christ and the Creation/Gospel message in the same light.

Of the publication, Dennett writes:

“This book is about men and women who entered the clergy with the best of motives and intentions and have come to recognize that they no longer hold the beliefs their parishioners think they do. Half of the people interviewed still have a congregation awaiting them each Sabbath, trusting them to speak the truth from the pulpit. They come from various backgrounds and have made different decisions about how to deal with their lack of belief in what they think somebody in their position ought to believe.”10

Dennett says the project’s participants believe themselves to be the tip of the iceberg:

“But they have no way of testing that conviction. In all the commentary we have provoked from experts on religion or spokespeople for religion, nobody—as far as I know—has accused us of making things up or turning a molehill into a mountain. We can say that there are at least a hundred instances, since among the more than five hundred current members of The Clergy Project there are over a hundred who still have a pulpit, still have a congregation. (The rest are all former clergy.) Since that private, confidential Web-based organization for nonbelieving clergy has grown to those numbers in two and a half years, without advertising or canvassing, we can safely surmise that there are many more clergy out there who are in the same boat but haven’t heard about The Clergy Project, or for various reasons would not want to join. Perhaps a nationwide confidential survey of clergy could give us a ballpark number, but the logistics of doing such a survey in a way that maximizes security and anonymity while screening out spurious responses is daunting indeed.”11

Along with the clergy interviewed, three seminary professors also took part. The professors pointed to the ‘scholarly’ way in which they taught students that the Bible was not inspired, Adam and Eve weren’t real people and Christ was not divine.

According to one professor:

“For some it’s unpleasant—like [the fact that] Adam and Eve did not really live. I did not think anybody could think that they really lived and ran around in Paradise—I just couldn’t have imagined that. So by now I’ve learned to be a bit more careful, just enough not to hurt people’s feelings and take them a bit more slowly into this new way of looking at the Bible.”12

Interestingly, the book includes a swipe at Dawkins by one of the clergy:

“I picked up The God Delusion [by Richard Dawkins] at the used-book store the other day, and it was the most insufferable reading I’ve ever had to endure. It’s incredibly disingenuous, if not equally as bigoted as the right-wingers. The arguments are laughable to me, and yet he’s earnest and sincere and he really believes he’s pursuing this ethical agenda. But I think he’s willfully obtuse, and it bothers me, because both sides in this debate are yelling past each other. Meanwhile, a way of life that is life-giving to me and to millions of others is completely misunderstood, mischaracterized, and ignored.”13

That same clergyman, though, embraces evolution (bold emphasis added):

“The people in my church are very intelligent. They believe in evolution. They also understand that what happens to us as we engage in prayer and worship and mythological imagination is fundamental to what it means to be human, and speaks deeply to the soul, and carries us into becoming better human beings.”14

Dennett also makes an observation that highlights the untenable position many liberal theologians put themselves in:

“Many commentators have noted a telling symmetry. Fundamentalists and other defenders of the literal truth of the Bible agree with the New Atheists on one thing: Truth claims need to be taken seriously—which means they must be evaluated as true or false, not merely interpreted as metaphors and symbols. Liberal clergy, as noted, are squeezed between these two opposing adherents of the “put up or shut up” school of interpretation. The liberals think both extremes are simplistic; it’s complicated, they say. The New Atheists have shrugged off this charge, accusing the liberal apologists of creating a pseudointellectual smokescreen to cover their retreat, and here the symmetry is extended, since that is also the opinion of many fundamentalists and other conservatives.”15

Dennett also comes to this insightful conclusion:

“Unlike their conservative counterparts, liberal denominations have made huge, socially conscious changes—performing same-sex marriages, accepting gay and women clergy, and (quietly) accepting the Bible as mythical, not factual truth. And what is their reward? They are losing membership, while the numbers of atheists and people with no religious affiliation are growing.”16

It is hard to fathom how compromising clergy process that reality and fail to make the connection to abandoning biblical truth.

One of the participants who is still involved in ministry as an Episcopal priest, but who describes himself as an atheist, has a curious way of describing believers in his congregation:

“For many, many people, belief and faith and conviction and a personal relationship with God can be apparently very helpful. I personally feel that perhaps one is not completely and fully human as long as one embraces fantasies and myths about a theistic God who’s personally involved in every aspect of one’s life. But sometimes I’ve found myself perhaps a little bit envious of those who have that certainty and unmistakable peace and joy about death and life and just manage to get through it.”17

But another of the participants clearly understands the problems with the theologically liberal position:

“My colleagues and clergy friends would ridicule fundamentalists, but at some point I came to realize they are preaching and teaching what they believe. If you read the Bible, they are actually being consistent in what they’re teaching or they’re believing. We’re the ones who are sugarcoating it and trying to contextualize it and put it in other language, and we don’t really mean what we say. And at some point, that just felt kind of mentally weak.”18

Evolution—the elephant in the room

One of the participants admitted to a compromise regarding Genesis and evolution which was similar to what others said as well:

“It seems like the obvious question: ‘Well, did evolution happen, and if it did, how does it square with the account in Genesis?’ It seems to me that that’s the elephant in the room. And what Orthodox intellectuals would do would be to consider the question so abstractly that the question was left unanswered. When I was teaching Genesis myself in seminary, I was able to perform the same kind of magic trick—a sort of distraction: ‘Well, I’m going to talk over here, and it’s all going to sound very smart, but it’s not actually addressing the question.’ In fact, the only students I ever had that did insist [on the question of evolution being addressed] was in a Sunday school class, because the kids would want an answer, and they would not allow me to get all abstract.”19

It would be easy for Christians to dismiss both the project and this book as merely a sad repository for depressing accounts about people who are no longer part of the body of faith—but that would be a mistake.

This book highlights an even sadder reality—that some of those interviewed remain in pastoral roles, professing outwardly to be Christian while inwardly disavowing that and embracing atheism.

It should spur believers to hold strong to the foundational truths of Genesis that point the world to its need of a Saviour, and to continue to support the efforts of ministries such as CMI. It should also spur believers to prayerfully endeavour to point doubters back to robust faith in Christ with a thoroughly biblical worldview.

Caught In The Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind will most likely satisfy those openly hostile to the God of the Bible, and maybe some compromising Christians, but those with a truly inquiring mind will see it for what it is, another attempt to discredit God and His Word, and to convince the world that the church is in disarray and headed for extinction.

Reading it made me want to say that if you’re fortunate enough to have a solid, Bible-believing pastor, you should seek him out and thank him for his faithfulness as a teacher of God’s Word.

References and notes

  1. Dennett, Daniel C., LaScola, Linda, Caught in The Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind, Congruity, Kindle Edition, 2013. Return to text.
  2. www.clergyproject.org. Return to text.
  3. Wieland, C., Death of an apostate, Creation 25(1):6, 2002, www.creation.com/death-of-an-apostate Return to text.
  4. ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/dennett/ Return to text.
  5. Ref.1. (Kindle Locations 38–43). Return to text.
  6. Ref.1. (Kindle Locations 46–47) Return to text.
  7. Bergman, J., Slaughter of the Dissidents, Leafcutter Press, USA, 2008. Return to text.
  8. Ref.1. (Kindle Locations 49–50). Return to text.
  9. Ref.1. (Kindle Locations 64–65). Return to text.
  10. Ref.1. (Kindle Locations 70–73). Return to text.
  11. Ref.1. (Kindle Locations 318–330). Return to text.
  12. Ref.1. (Kindle Locations 1030–1033). Return to text.
  13. Ref.1. (Kindle Locations 1864–1870). Return to text.
  14. Ref.1. (Kindle Locations 1860–1864). Return to text.
  15. Ref.1. (Kindle Locations 1974–1979). Return to text.
  16. Ref.1. (Kindle Locations 1886–1889). Return to text.
  17. Ref.1. (Kindle Locations 1930–1935). Return to text.
  18. Ref.1. (Kindle Locations 2033–2036). Return to text.
  19. Ref.1. (Kindle Locations 2048–2054). Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Refuting Compromise, updated & expanded
by Dr Jonathan Sarfati
US $17.00
Soft Cover
15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History
by Dr Don Batten, Dr Jonathan D Sarfati
US $3.50
Soft Cover
Foolish Faith
by Judah Etinger
US $11.00
Soft Cover
The Genesis Account
by Jonathan Sarfati
US $39.00
Hard Cover

Readers’ comments

Michael C.
Life always begets life. Life never comes from something non living. Remember John 1:4 "In Him was life and life was the light of men."
Romans tells us that it is possible to suppress that light through wickedness. However Romans also tells us that because God's diving nature are clearly visible in creation, men are without excuse.
Michael C.
Proverbs 9:10 says, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." 1 Corinthians 1:18 also says, "the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing . . ." The entire point of evolution is to discredit the coming judgement and wrath of God on this sinful world. God's judgement is surely coming, no matter what men may say and it is His patience that life keeps going on the same as it has since the creation, to give men time to repent of their sins.
If there is no judgement and therefore no subsequent threat of eternal punishment, then Noah's Flood need not be true and neither ought the resurrection of Christ Jesus be true either. Pastors can end up in hell just as any unrepentant person. Remember Proverbs: Fear the Lord and shun evil.
Owen H.
If the clergy are truly saved they will not fall away from their faith. If they do then they were never truly saved in the first place.
Stephen B.
Should we not now distinguish between the religion of Christianity and being a 'Disciple of Christ'.If you are a Disciple of Christ there is no way you can subscribe to Macro Evolution - surely as a disciple you must have a faith and belief that the Bible is the inerrant ,infallible word of God.Serious reading of the Bible with vigour will inevitably lead to the conclusion the Bible does not contain myths.81% of prophecies have come to pass 19% to go.The Bible is Truth itself-observing Creation leaves us without excuse.Only people in rebellion to God will challenge the veracity of the Bible.A true Disciple of Christ is not in rebellion and accepts the Genesis account as fact.It is written in narrative format.If you doubt your heavenly Father and start questioning the Bible-it is a slippery slope.Frankly I find it easier to believe than the alternative reductionist materialist position.Even that position must believe in 'Mother Nature' as the coordinating designer.Faith in God or Mother nature?These Clergymen who are losing their faith are losing it because they read the Bible with a pair of scissors in their hand and are influenced by modern day scientists who have themselves become bigoted in their opinions.The 'rebels of yesterday are the establishment of today'.The evolutionary belief is so well accepted and taught that Bishops and the like have to accept it as part of being in the establishment and in doing so lose their faith-probably God even helps them in their unbelief like the Pharisees in rebellion of yesteryear.My prayer is that people will see God's wonderful creation and believe in the Creator God and rid themselves of all forms of rebellion and truly walk a path of discipleship and faith and explore their relationship with the living Christ.
Neil C.
"Hitler's propaganda minister, Goebbels, said, 'if you tell a lie long enough then people will believe it'"

What an excellent description of the tactics of the creationist movement.
Carl Wieland
Neil, if 'unsupported assertion' isn't an informal logical fallacy, it should be. Come to think of it, it is; ipse dixit is the label. This particular comment is in one way self-refuting. A lie by definition is a statement made knowing it to be untrue. By definition, a creationist is one professing to be a follower of Christ and His Word, the Bible, and in this case, to risk ridicule and intellectual persecution in our culture. Since Christ commanded His followers to speak only truth, how likely is it that conscious liars would at the same time be actual Christ-followers? Not impossible, of course, but to claim this for an entire movement stretches credulity. From the chat I think I recall having with you, I'm sure you can do better...
Mike R.
Infinite God, trying to be understood by finite man
Norm D.
To me the main problem here is that most churches rarely teach creation. So we have only really heard about it in passing and that's all. When we hear the other side's story (evolution) it sounds more believable to the ignorant.
dale D.
Pastors and all Christians must realize that the warning Jesus had 'except those days be shortened, even the very elect would be deceived' is being played out.
Satan is divided in his ranks but trying to coordinate. The New World Order is the agenda to make socialists of the world, where they embrace lies rather than truth - even giving up much freedoms.
The frontal platform to undermine the Church is evolution. While types (like dogs - wolves strongest genetically and poodles the weakest) may have many variations of changes in genetic structure, there is No evolving between types. (cats don't become dogs). If changes occur it is negative and not positive. Humans are weaker and weaker genetically over time for example (just like dogs). Downward evolution not improving!
The New World Order control the media and most of Hollywood and even many educators. These evolutionists almost always throw out evidences that blatantly disprove them and 'strain at a gnat and yet swallow a camel' over bits and fragments of bones. They claim to be the INTELLIGENTSIA but with self imposed (and peer pressure from others) create a box that excludes anything they don't want in the box. This is masterful propaganda!
Hitler's propaganda minister, Goebbels, said,'if you tell a lie long enough then people will believe it'. If we merely trust God and His Word then we have no challenge that God won't overcome. We may have to study and may have to think out of the box that the world wants us to stay in. The closer we get to God then the clearer these things become and the less likely that we be propagandized to 'believe a lie'.
D R L.
"Actually, though you comment on our site, you obviously can't have read much on it, because we certainly don't say for a minute that evolution necessarily requires atheism. "

Perhaps not, but that is certainly the message contained or at least implied in the title, and in countless articles and websites like yours. A careful reading of Genesis in the original version, as far as it is available to us, makes it clear that it was NOT intended as a scientific document, and to demand that everyone accept it as such, and that everyone MUST interpret it as though it were written only for people of the 21st century, completely ignoring the needs and interests of those of the intervening centuries, and ignoring what God clearly tells us through his creation, along the way demonizing all those who disagree with you, seems less than what Jesus expects of his followers, particularly when to do so requires that you distort so egregiously the views of those you criticize and the discoveries they are making about God's creation and how it works. Jesus's work should not require this level of falsehood.

And you are not only denying evolution, but geology, a great deal of physics, astronomy, archaeology, history, linguistics, chemistry and other fields. Why not entitle your article "How geology is driving the clergy to atheism"? Or any of the other fields of study I mentioned?
Carl Wieland
Actually, whatever 'implications' you might read into things is less important than what is actually stated. Evolution is driving the clergy to atheism not because it is impossible to be a Christian and hold to evolution, but because it is highly inconsistent, if not irrational, to do so. Thus someone who feels convinced of evolution jumping ship is in that sense being more consistent than someone who tries to mix oil and water. And the furphy about a 'careful reading' in the 'original version' is sheer bluff and chutzpah. Genesis does not claim to be (nor do we claim it to be) a scientific text, but that conveniently ducks the issue, namely that it does claim to be a document of history, giving us information about what actually happened, including a sequence of actual events which are radically different from the neopagan longagism of the Enlightenment. Hebrew scholars down the centuries have known exactly what Genesis teaches. Here is a quote by Hebrew professor at Oxford, James Barr, on the meaning of Genesis, i.e. what the writers intended to convey to readers. He says it is the view of every other such world class Hebrew professor. Note that Barr doesn't believe it is true, but agrees with what every 10-year-old will tell you Genesis means. So lets at least be exegetically and intellectually honest here. And please, can I urge you again to study our position prior to lashing out further.
Michelle H.
Amen! Love reading your magazine and articles. I am blessed to know that I do serve a living God and looking forward to thanking my pastor for his faithfulness and being a teacher of Gods word!
Thank you for what you all do.
Shannon B.
What joy it is to know that Christ is the one who builds and sustains His church and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.
Phillip L.
Very good article. I actually lay in bed at night, sometimes for hours, thinking about this very subject. I have always been a believer starting at a very young age. I spent my life doing a LOT of things that God and Jesus condemn. My faith has grown stronger through the years as it does with most believers (I guess), but one thing I have never had a problem with is my belief that God is who He says He is and so is Jesus. I not only believe in them, but I also believe them. I have always considered the Bible as God's gift to us and even though a lot of things are hard to understand, I still believe ALL of the Bible is true and not merely a collection of allegories and half truths made up by the authors. Actually, it seems to me that the people in this article are following word-for-word exactly what the Prophets and Jesus said they would do as the end draws near. That just strengthens my belief. Jesus said that all of these things will be made clear to us at the appropriate time. I can wait.
D R L.
It is not evolution that drives people away from Christianity, but the lies that sites like yours popularize about evolution, and the superstition that evolution necessarily requires atheism.
Carl Wieland
Actually, though you comment on our site, you obviously can't have read much on it, because we certainly don't say for a minute that evolution necessarily requires atheism. Our own founding chairman, the late Professor John Rendle-Short, was a theistic evolutionist for some 30 years, not having thought through the biblical implications. I.e. thanks to 'blessed inconsistency', one can sometimes be saved while still believing things that are hugely contradictory things to the Bible. However, once pointed out, he was delighted to be able to believe what the Bible so clearly teaches. Our claim is that whoever the god of evolution is, logically and consistently it can't be the God of Abraham, the father of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, i.e. the God of the Bible. See our Q and A section under theology for cogent reasons why.
andy V.
I hear a lot of my brothers and sisters in Christ denouncing evolution as not scientific and even of the devil, but I also hear them unanimously resigned to the fact that micro evolution has occurred. Is not micro evolution a form of evolution, or am I missing something here? (understanding that micro evolution is changes within a kind). Isn't this resignation to accept micro evolution a slippery slope? It was only about 15 years ago when there seemed to be very little acceptance in the evangelical Christian community of a universe billions of light years in diameter. Now, it is almost universally accepted,even within a 6-day creation framework (using time dilation and varied speeds of light to explain it). Isn't it similarly a slippery slope to accept such vast distances in the universe?
Carl Wieland
Actually, I don't think these are slippery slopes at all. In fact, it could even be said that the rejection of such facts by some sectors of Christianity, rather than looking closely at them with a biblical worldview, is what has led to a greater subsequent problem with the perceived need to swallow the evolutionary line. First, variation of organisms, even to the extent of speciation, is an observable fact, but the belief that given enough time, this leads to evolution (as in frog to prince, microbes to microbiologists) misrepresents the nature of that variation. It is simply the wrong type of change. Studying our Q and A section under topics like natural selection will be helpful. Evolutionist Roger Lewin (search our site) commented on the results of a major conference on macroevolution that the consensus was that one cannot just extrapolate the mechanisms of microevolution to get macroevolution. Which is why these terms are misleading, and we recommend not using them, by the way. Similarly with the vast distances of the cosmos, which are deducible from many separate lines of observation, it does not follow from these that the cosmos is old. Evolutionists/big bangers use similarly exotic mechanisms as those you mention to solve their problem of the light-travel time (the 'horizon problem') so I don't see the issue you mention. Even the Milky Way can be shown to be some 100,000 light years across, and if the cosmos were only 6,000 years in radius, the stars would all be so close to us we would fry. Facts are nothing to be afraid of, in short, and denying them is not a slippery slope but rather a doomed strategy.
B W.
Too bad you miss the most important fact.
Darwin said "his theory would be proven in the fossil record"
In essence his theory is DOA. They don't have one single fossil of any animal that is in an evolutionary state.
Adaptation is not evolution.
I repeat they have not one bone. Except a possible false claim. If Darwin were correct, the fossils found would be in transition and would outnumber the current fossils 100 to 1.
None exist. His theory is a fool's errand for those whose eyes were preplanned by God to not see or believe.
God exists, my testimony is one of knowing and not of faith. I am sorry I wrote that because it labels me as being off the reservation.
Our God is awesome and all that omnipresent and powerful.
You may ask then why all this. He is raising up heirs to this kingdom and this existence. Having the spirit of God in us brings us into the body of Christ. As he knows so shall we know.
I will stop here. Beside this may never see the light of day. I am not sure I am talking the right acceptable talking points.
Bev W.
Excellent article. Thank you. But nobody ever points out that keeping the seventh day Sabbath is a constant reminder of a literal seven day creation. I am not Jewish, but my family rests on the seventh day because the Creator of the universe commanded it. I truly believe that our disobedience to this command has influenced our society to embrace evolution.
Carl Wieland
Or is it the other way around, that embracing evolution has caused people to not take the Bible seriously in any aspect? I remember in the early days of my Christian life, when there were all sorts of controversies between different denominations and factions about what the Bible means to teach about this or that, but they were all based upon the common assumption that the Bible teaches 'true truth'. Today the controversies are more within denominations, as entire chunks of Christendom doubt that the Bible speaks authoritatively at all except in a very narrow 'religious' realm, perhaps. People at CMI live-in conferences, for example, often find that they have more in common with people of other denominations than they do with those in their own group who have 'given way' on this crucial issue of the authority of Scripture.
Peter H.
There are so many people eager to explain evolution, but when hearing them just remember one word of wisdom,"Do not listen to the man who does not listen to God."
God is our Creator and maintains His whole creation according to His purposes. Therefore we need not fear floods, earthquakes, famines, or drought. We are all safe in the hands of Jesus our Saviour and He warned us that these are but the beginning of birth pangs.
Peter R.
Great job with this article!

I actually think that people like Dawkins, Dennett, and Lascola are doing Christianity a favor by exposing those who are sowing seeds of doubt and unbelief in the Church.

The truth is that these people need to be exposed for what they really are: "Wolves in sheep's clothing". I remember challenging some of my seminary professors about their compromise with evolution (and I attended a very conservative Reformed seminary!), and I can't help but notice that as the years go on, the seminary professors compromise more and more, and it is just a matter of time before they abandon the fundamentals of the Christian Faith, since they have already cut off their own feet.

It's time to stop pretending. As the article points out, trying to compromise with evolution (which is the default position of liberals, and the temptation for conservatives) is really a smokescreen to cover the retreat out of the Christian Faith.

May God be pleased to strengthen the faith of those who refuse to compromise their belief in the Bible. May God continue to use Creation Ministries to show faithful Christians that there is good scientific evidence for the Bible's account of the world's history, from creation, through the global flood, to Christ and the recreation of the world.
jim S.
1 John 2:19
M. C.
In saying "If the evidence before your eyes doesn’t support a belief, you cannot will yourself to believe it anyway" surely a man whose mind has randomly evolved to the peak of biological creativity, intelligence and wisdom can come up with something more original than to unwittingly plagiarise the Man whom he decries the most, Who some 2000 years B.D. (Before Dawkins) and therefore apparently in a less evolved state than Professor Dawkins, said "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead".

Is Prof. Dawkins an example of a copying mistake - mutated evolution - or of devolution? Perhaps he is closer to the Truth than he realises, but he just can’t see it because he just won’t see it.

How often Jesus would have gathered the children, but they would not...they are without excuse.

wayne T.
Richard Dawkins probably makes a comfortable living being the face of the recent theology of evolution. How a man who calls himself a scientist can be such a soldier for Darwinian evolution, when Darwin himself had hardly any concept even of what a cell was, or the information encoded within DNA! Dawkins' continued agenda to promote 'his evolutionary theory without substantial evidence' is in fact cause for evolutionary and scientific shame.
On what basis does he appeal to the clergy? It certainly is not based on historical or scientific credibility. The Wisdom, Engineering and attention to detail of Creation that is both outlined in the Bible and witnessed at both a spiritual and observational level, within the very makeup of the human being, is far more credible than Dawkins' extrapolated evolutionary meanderings, which he is now famous for.
Pastors and Teachers who are not prepared to uphold the full biblical account [including Creation], as their foundation and precepts, should not be in ministry in a Christian church. There are warnings for teachers that "Tickle the ears". Jesus often referred back to the old covenant to give a base and foundation for his teachings. Pastors at every precept in Christian ministry are required to do the same.
Remember, Richard Dawkins may have failed in fully answering a call to the Christian ministry, but instead is now a true captain of the adversary forces, which the Bible prophesied would happen in the last days, one who worships the creature more than the Creator.
Richard Dawkins is in ministry and as such represents him who is opposed to Almighty God. A true member of that clergy, and a very dangerous minister within its evil ranks. Pray that he may be released from its bondage and deceit.

Yi Lok C.
In Day one, part of the infinite size Kingdom of God drawn near the earth with great gravity field.

"Let there be light"(Genesis 1:3) With the gravity field from Heaven and light, there are RED SHIFT GRAVITATION TIME DILUTATION. So one day in Heaven equals to 0.65 BILLION years on Earth.

So that explains everything.

There is a famous Chinese Book published in Hong Kong on this subject.

ISBN: 978-988-8223-83-1
Carl Wieland
While somewhat off topic, I have published this because of the opportunity to point out that first, this concept does not get around the real issues. Having 'long days' still has death, bloodshed, disease, suffering, carnivory and thorns existing millions of years before Adam's sin for one thing. Plus the order of events is quite different, long-age interpretation has fish before fruit trees, Genesis has it the other way around. Plus quite a few other such 'contradictions' which are not solved by simply stretching the Genesis days (which is contradictory to sound exegesis anyway, check out our Q and A (topics) section. However, gravitational time dilation is a reality, and does potentially solve one problem; the light travel time.
Note though that it is the reverse of what that 'famous' book apparently says (sounds very much like the misguided theory of Gerald Schroeder); during expansion, clocks in the cosmos run many times faster than here on earth, not the other way around. I recommend looking into this as you are sort of on the right track.
Stephen W.
Dawkin's foreword to the book, sounds like the treatment of Bible-believing Christians in the scientific and academic communities. Keeping quiet about their faith to keep their jobs.
Wayne T.
How sad that this is occurring, but I often struggle with the juxtaposition of the terms "intelligent people" and "evolution" for it is disingenuous. I wonder how many of these "intelligent people" have objectively studied the science of microbes-to-man and managed to validate the hypothesis for themselves. In my own studies over the past ten years, I have yet to find a single piece of substantive scientific evidence that supports the overarching narrative. Certainly these is evidence of evolution predicated on the existence of a functioning genome, but all other evidence is circumstantial at best. Many evolutionists are now admitting that they are unsure of the mechanisms, the variation-selection mechanism now subject to much skepticism. In truth, the evolution hypothesis remains even though the mechanisms are unknown. To some extent, belief in God is similar: it remains though the mechanisms are unknown other than what is written in Scripture, and what we as believers experience. The history of miracles, well testified and documented, are rejected by atheists without evidence, yet despite the documentation on the falsification of fossils and their dubious interpretations, they are accepted as proven science. I would encourage those clergy who are losing their faith to take off a year or two and objectively study the science of evolution. Once they realize its error, they may be encouraged to revisit the alternative.
C. A.
Just read an article on the Huffington Post - 'Religion' section by Martin Thielen this morning that is a great example of ministers that sympothise with evolution and try to combine it into their faith. The sad thing is that in this article the minister recommends this hybrid faith/evolution approach to a young biology student who was enquiring about how she can believe in science and still hold onto her faith. What the minister should have done is directed her to creation.com. [weblink deleted in accord with feedback rules]
Mark P.
Great article but no surprises here. Having spent a good number of years as a lay minister in the Anglican Church, I came to realise that acceptance of evolution was a given and to believe Genesis 1 - 11 as history was ridiculous and dangerous to your job. In the end my belief in creationism led to losing my job as an Anglican school chaplain. Questioning evolution was a no go zone. Teaching creationism even worse.
George D.
I have to admit that I find evolution to be unbelievable. I have read a lot about it and I still don't see irrefutable proof that it happened. I don't buy the "Big Bang" theory and all I can see is a lot of arrogant people trying to explain the beginning of this world in a small minded way.
I look every day at what I see when I go out, the trees, the sky, the human body and I KNOW that this is not a meeting of random "things" but is created by GOD, not chance.

There is one thing in these debates and treatises on issues regarding GOD that the clergy dismisses and that is LUCIFER. I was told a long time ago by a Minister that the devil is something used to scare little kids and that at best he is apocryphal, sad.
By what is being published about people leaving the church and, ministers losing faith, Lucifer is at work.

It is sad that science has found another reason and applies it daily as to why there is bad behaviour and that the "devil" has no part in it at all.

MY Faith in God has NOT diminished at all in my 60 odd years but has strengthened and I believe that Jesus the Christ died for ME. I find this evolution stuff to be rather degrading and useless.
Lennard C.
I can't think help thinking on Jesus words about shepherds in John 10:

John 10:2 "But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them."

Jesus' words ring especially true today. Many pastors and Bible college professors seem to be intimidated by the evolutionary debate and run away, accepting academic or scholarly consensus as the basis of truth. They leave themselves exposed and eventually the people God has entrusted to them.
Teddy M.
One of the previous commenters mentioned the little girl who accounted for her confidence in the existence of God simply: "Because he lives in my heart."

Evolution is not driving clergy to atheism. They are simply swapping religions. Rather than be shocked at professional clergy turning away from God, we should accept that they never turned to God; only religion and a profession with their own personal agenda. The quintessential example of this possibility is Judas.

There is another parallel here regards the scientists who embrace evolution versus creation. Generally speaking, the chief spokespersons of evolution know of science and a lot about science but have made a living from teaching teenagers or writing books. Dawkins has been reduced to writing children's books.

On the other hand (read the CMI biographies), the scientists who embrace creation have actually done science, i.e., accomplished something using science. They know science.

There is a world of difference, or should I say an eternity of difference, between knowing of God or knowing a lot about God and knowing God.
Eugene L.
Evolutionists know that if they can destroy the Genesis account of creation, the rest of the Gospel message will ultimately be viewed with suspicion, and eventually, with a sense of distrust.
Jesus foresaw this when he said the following:

Joh 5:45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope.
Joh 5:46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.
Joh 5:47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"
John C.
Same old, same old...nothing new here !!
Jules D.
Someone should point out to Prof. Dawkins that it works both ways. Should he openly proclaim a belief in Jesus Christ he would find himself without a job.
Ferdinand iii S.
Evolution is science fiction. Science disproves it. Science cannot explain the question 'why'? Why is there gravity? Why does the earth rotate? Why would pond scum 'mutate' to human hating atheists? Why would evolution lead to human consciousness and perfect scientific ratios? Evolution is simply a crock, not science, and 'reason' can never answer 'why'.....

These liberal priests are imo, pathetic irrational and quite deluded. They left the Christian pro human faith, and joined an unscientific anti human cult. Maybe if they knew real history and that Christianity created science, or that as Flew and other atheists found out, evolution is a myth, they might have reaffirmed their faith through the use of their (seemingly vacant) reason by exploring both science, and real history.

Michael B.
If the universe is only 6,000 years old, explain why we can see the Crab Nebula that's 6,500 light years away?
Warren Nunn
You may want to read this excellent article on our website: Exploding stars point to a young universe
Donald M.
You seem to be referring to what I call "academic or philosophic Christians" - those who can quote lots of Scripture and have their theological ducks all lined up. But their actual relationship with Jesus remains theory. Jewish (then-atheist) author Arthur Katz once tried to intimidate a young girl by demanding that she admit she lived by another's faith: "How do you know that there's a God?" He was speechless at her honest response: "Because He lives in my heart." Those who "abandoned the faith" nearly always seem to be those whose Christianity was only intellectual, and they were convinced by someone with a better argument than they had. When the Spirit of the living God indwells a person, His exclusive role is to testify so (Rom 8:16). Part of the problem is that many in church leadership usurp the Holy Spirit's role and pronounce others "saved" when they're not. God alone knows our hearts. 50 years ago I asked my pastor to disciple me; he replied that in seminary they never taught him how to do that. The minister's job is arduous, and few pray daily for their needs.
Kenn D.
How can these men be so easily deceived? They must keep their heads in their Bibles and reading the right materials such as that put out by Creation Ministries, the Institute for Creation Research and other Creationist organizations who are continuously publishing peer reviewed articles that support creation and debunk evolution. God is the Master Creator and science regularly proves his creative genius.
John K.
I don’t hear Genesis mentioned from the pulpit as foundational. Actually, I don’t hear it mentioned. When a conservative evangelical pastor in my area was approached by a church member asking the pastor what he believed about the first chapters of Genesis, the pastor said, “In my heart of hearts, I believe the creation narrative is true.” However, such pastors will never preach that from the pulpit, nor will they mention their “belief” except in one-on-one conversations. So, no Genesis foundation is being put in place in the theology of the church members. The young peoples’ view of origins comes from the public schools, and I know from first-hand experience that from elementary school up in all kinds of printed materials, science courses, and even state-wide testing programs, evolution is simply fact substantiated by irrefutable science. Questioning evolution and long, long ages simply labels one as irrational and shallow minded. Other than through organizations like CMI, ICR, and AIG, I am not aware of any attempts by Christians to thwart the disastrous impact of evolutionary beliefs, especially in the lives of young people. Evolution is referred to everywhere without doubt!!!! From my limited perspective, in the locales where I have lived in the USA, and how I hope I am wrong, there is NO offensive against evolution via the churches. There is NO battle. The church does not perceive evolution as an enemy to fight. The church doesn’t think a literal Genesis foundation needs to be in place at all. Just be “Christ-centered” in whatever form that takes. Whatever else might need to happen will just happen if you stay “Christ-centered”. Additionally, from what I have heard from the pulpits, Jesus must not have ever referenced the first chapters of Genesis.
John K.
I don’t hear Genesis mentioned from the pulpit as foundational. Actually, I don’t hear it mentioned. When a conservative evangelical pastor in my area was approached by a church member asking the pastor what he believed about the first chapters of Genesis, the pastor said, “In my heart of hearts, I believe the creation narrative is true.” However, such pastors will never preach that from the pulpit, nor will they mention their “belief” except in one-on-one conversations. So, no Genesis foundation is being put in place in the theology of the church members. The young peoples’ view of origins comes from the public schools, and I know from first-hand experience that from elementary school up in all kinds of printed materials, science courses, and even state-wide testing programs, evolution is simply fact substantiated by irrefutable science. Questioning evolution and long, long ages simply labels one as irrational and shallow minded. Other than through organizations like CMI, ICR, and AIG, I am not aware of any attempts by Christians to thwart the disastrous impact of evolutionary beliefs, especially in the lives of young people. Evolution is referred to everywhere without doubt!!!! From my limited perspective, in the locales where I have lived in the USA, and how I hope I am wrong, there is NO offensive against evolution via the churches. There is NO battle. The church does not perceive evolution as an enemy to fight. The church doesn’t think a literal Genesis foundation needs to be in place at all. Just be “Christ-centered” in whatever form that takes. Whatever else might need to happen will just happen if you stay “Christ-centered”. Additionally, from what I have heard from the pulpits, Jesus must not have ever referenced the first chapters of Genesis.
Rod R.
I appreciate your review of this book, but I really think that if you are going to provide footnotes to specific passages, you provide pages from a hard copy and not a kindle version. Kindle footnotes are pretty much worthless to most people.
Warren Nunn
When I read and reviewed the book, it was only available in the Kindle version. If you are interested in reading the Kindle version, it can be downloaded and read on any PC or laptop; that's how I read it.
David James R.
Dawkins is clinging to the hope that the clergy is leaving the pulpit is the sign of a dying church. There have always been Christians of weak faith as the Bible states, and there have always been non-Christians who teach for a variety of reasons, other than love for God.

I guess that the thousands who abandon their belief in evolution every year and become believing Christians would likewise mean that evolution is dying, right?

Evolutionists express pure and impossibly placed faith in their suppositions, without any solid evidence. At the same time, Christians who stake their faith in the inerrancy of Scripture stand upon numerous simple truths of creation, a few of which follow:

1) The human mind is the greatest creative power on earth, and its power and attributes are INVISIBLE as compared to the biological brain.
2) The Pinocchio Syndrome - Complexity and symmetry and specific purpose of every living organism REQUIRES hundreds to billions of inextricably linked components that are minimally necessary for the organism to live, ALL of which must be fully operable and interactive with each other SIMULTANEOUSLY within the specific chain of operation of each organism, IMMEDIATELY from the beginning of its life, which causes the mathematical possibilities of such operable mass of components to altogether fail the realm of reality.
3) Evolutionists know much of, or all, the simple facts above, but refuse to acknowledge them ONLY because they reject Creator God.
Andre F.
I will never understand liberal clergy or their flock, I mean if I did not believe the Bible I can think of better ways to spend a Sunday than to listen to a liberal preacher's allegories.

I also agree with the author that the doubters of evolution are also not allowed to come out into the open and thus find themselves in the same awkward position.
Michael K.
I wish you would avoid using the term "liberal" to describe these concessions to evolution. The Catholic Church exemplifies a conservative religious institution, yet it has increasingly accommodated itself to evolution.

This is not a matter of liberal-conservative dichotomy but of adherence to truth even if it means the loss of research money and grants to prestigious religious institutions of higher education.
Pratha S.
It all goes back to the beginning in the book of Genesis when the serpent asked 'Hath God said'{did God REALLY say that,is that what He really said}? And since that time,it's been the same thing{in one form or another}.As well as the same intention -- to get people to question God's Word.
Marie T.
So often, it’s the so-called intellectualism (and the pride of life) that leads people astray. Now-days calling someone “smart” or “intelligent” all too often just means, “We think the same way.” They left us, but they were not part of us, for if they had been part of us, they would have stayed with us. Their leaving made it clear that none of them was really part of us (1 John 2:19). The men and women of God must continue to pray, love and endeavor to love.
Sas E.
Jesus said that no everyone who says "Lord, Lord" will enter into the kingdom of heaven. If you take a trip to hell you will see so many of these priests, pastors etc who deceived their congregations with false doctrines. We live in the end times and is very important to discern between the false teachers and the genuine ones least you be led astray. God bless you all at CMI for this important work you are doing.
Cowboy Bob S.
Articles like this are necessary. While many of us see that evolution is a foundation for the religion of atheism, people need to be reminded of the dangers of being undiscerning. Christians get atheistic interpretations of facts, but are not firmly rooted in the truth and lack biblical discernment as well as critical thinking skills.

I've had discussions with people who believe that many theistic evolutionists, "progressive" or "framework" proponents and many OECs in general are more committed to atheistic interpretations than to biblical authority.

There are people calling themselves Christian who join groups on social media that are primarily atheistic. There are groups that praise evolutionism as well as those for the purpose of attacking creationism. I've seen people attacking us at The Question Evolution Project who have joined anti-creationist groups, pro-evolution groups and still call themselves Christians. Some are known authors, too.

People who claim the name of Christ but promote evolution can do damage to Christians who lack spiritual development and lack critical thinking skills. Clergy are no exception, and may be more prone since they put a great deal of effort in learning what the seminary teaches so they can get good grades.

Woe to all who cause people to stumble.
james p H.
“The people in my church are very intelligent. They believe in evolution"

"Intelligent" ?


Anyone who believes in 'evolution' in the face of the overwhelming evidence for Intelligent Design in Nature ain't "intelligent"....they're retarded!....with room temperature IQs...

Actually....in fact...that's being unkind to retarded people....who can't help their condition....

so.....I'll re-phrase...no!....they're not retarded....they're INSANE!

They belong in an insane asylum!....*not* a church!
Carl Wieland
James, I can understand your frustration, perhaps, but you might want to consider how this sort of wording would appear to you if it were used (as it often is, sadly) by anti-creationists directed against believers. While often a spade needs to be called a spade, it seems that a more 'winsome' approach would be more likely to 'win some'.
S. H.
The amusing thing is that despite their 'evidence' (which I presume is 'Western denominational church' only), the church worldwide is growing at a furious rate (I heard a recent report of someone who'd been on the ground in a Syrian refugee camp and the numbers coming to Jesus are staggering). Even in the UK it's been evidenced that the church is growing because the newer churches and new expressions are increasing but aren't included in 'official' figures.

The church grows where belief in the truth of the Word of God is preached, believed and acted on because it's only in / connected to Jesus that there's life! The opposite is also true - no truth, no life. I've seen many people totally changed by God (me for one) and people healed too (blind eyes opened, baby healed in the womb, pain instantly gone). God is alive and kicking!

Those believing in evolution or that God is mythical are by no means more intelligent or more scholarly. Possibly more arrogant (!!), but certainly contributing far less to the world than God's church! It's clear that those who are the most fundamentalist (and fearful) are the atheists seeking to silence any other worldview.

It's also significant how some clergy referenced talk about how they feel, what they think, how they perceive - and that's the key problem. God lives in his people by his Spirit; we have the mind of Christ; God's Word is forever established etc. So while we don't throw out the mind or personality that God made, the Christian life is not about what we think, it's about what God thinks! It shows how God's truth most be proclaimed in love in every season.

I feel sorry for clergy who reject God's Word and Genesis truth and have no foundation in life or death. That's the most tragic thing of all.
David G.
Somehow the Dennet project seems to want to encourage sympathy for clergy people who 'lose their faith'. No can do. If they can no longer uphold the faith they once committed to they are being deceitful and dishonest. They lie to people left, right and centre and show themselves committed selfishly to fraud. Better they get out and sell insurance as they are not 'harbingers' of anything but foolishness.
lonnie H.
This proves the only thing that really evolves is deception. Without faith it is impossible to please God. People will find any excuse not to believe, pride and frustration add to it. The Bible speaks very plainly, it is impossible to be in minstry or even a Christian without the guidance of the holy spirit. God however, will not contradict His word therefore, anything contrary to scripture has to be false. If we have a problem accepting in the beginning God and a normal week for creation then we probably won't believe God can free us from our sins conquer death or satisfy our doubts and fears.
Eugene Y.
'If the evidence before your eyes doesn’t support a belief, you cannot will yourself to believe it anyway.' I wonder why evolution isn't part of it? I mean if we really follow the evidence, evolution should've been discarded. But why doesn't Dawkins think this way but must think of a book 'written by an ancient nomad'. I mean Moses was trained and raised by experts from Egypt. What makes these people think they are better than ancient men? But maybe the problem isn't about desert nomads writing religious books about hygiene and civil and moral law (inspired by God). The problem is that the whatever the Bible is written for is a stumbling block for him. What is he so offended about a 'holy book' written by 'desert nomads', I mean can he reason better than this 'holy book'? Does he have a better presupposition than this 'holy book'? Does he notice that his starting point is from this 'holy book'? Is he so disturbed by the 'violence' in the OT that he would call God a 'megalomaniac'. I mean if evolution is true, war is common throughout nature so he could reason that these Jews are just doing what nature had done millions of years but with a 'deluded' mind in Jehovah. Maybe he cared for these 'deluded' Jews but his caring is nothing given his pride in believing that he is 'smarter' than these Jews. Why people think they are better than ancient men given the fact that ancient men knew God in someway. I mean other cultures had stories similar to the Deluge and the Forbidden fruit and of their ancestral origin (Adam & Eve). Evolution really does change things in how we think and how we treat people.
Ken B.
Brings to mind an excellent article by David Catchpoole of a minister who had rejected Genesis but continued in the pulpit for several years before leaving. Better that such people be gone from the church, rather than posing as teachers of truth.
See: creation.com/changing-lane
john P.
The sad fact about these wolves in sheeps clothing is they have no comfort to offer their congregations and there is a real danger of these congregations being led down the path which leads to the Lake of Fire. As Paul says in 2 Timothy ch 4 v 2-4 they do not endure sound doctrine, have a form of godliness but deny its power- we are now in the last days so our work is urgent. With the help of the Holy Spirit these false prophets need to be exposed for what they are and if possible moved to repentance.
It is sad they fulfill Bible prophecy on the wrong side, instead of God's side, and regarding their eternal destiny, not only sad but dangerous.
It is they who believe in myths and wild imaginings- their god of evolution which cannot and will not save them. I would hate to be in their congregations of hopelessness.
God bless CMI as we continue to spread the Word of God.
Steven B.
Great story! CMI always does a great job defending and pointing out truth. Keep up your uncompromising work.

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