Also Available in:

The Conundrum of Compromise

And the damage of not taking the Scriptures at face value


First published in CMI-USA Prayer News, July 2022.
Dr William Lane Craig
Dr William Lane Craig is a well-known and respected apologist cited by many prominent Christians. So, it is shocking, for many, to hear that he is also an avid anticreationist. Craig tries to reconcile evolution with Genesis by categorizing Genesis as mytho-history—a type of theological fable that is not meant to be understood as real history. In an online interview with Sean McDowell, Craig said:

“My greatest fear is that the young-earth creationist might be right in hishermeneutical claim that Genesis does teach those things that I described earlier. And I say that would be a nightmare because if that’s what the Bible teaches, it puts the Bible into massive, I think, irredeemable conflict with modern science, history, and linguistics, and I don’t want that to happen.”1

By “science”, he means evolution. His quote reveals that his authority is not the Bible, but secular science! As such, Craig’s commitment to evolution forces him to undermine even basic Christian doctrines.

Human mortality before sin

Most compromised views of creation share the same problems. Individuals that hold to these views often believe that the Earth is millions/billions of years old. Since the idea of deep time comes from an interpretation of the geologic (rock) layers, and these layers contain fossils—including human fossils—they have to affirm that physical death existed in the world long before the appearance of the first man. The first casualty is often the doctrine of original sin and reinterpreting New Testament passages such as Romans 5:12 which says:

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.…”

A ‘great’ apologist rejects the doctrine of original sin!

In the interview mentioned earlier, William Lane Craig admits:

Public domain, via Wikimedia Commonspelagius
“Pelagius said that Adam’s sin had no effect on the human race. He was condemned as a heretic by the early church.”

“I myself don’t hold to that classical doctrine of original sin … What was that first sin? I don’t think we have any idea. I certainly don’t think that it was eating a piece of fruit on a tree. I think that would have been a figurative and metaphorical way of telling the story of man’s fall.”2

In the first 500 years of church history, Christians, by way of church councils, had to address various heresies. The biggest controversies usually surrounded the nature of God; the Trinity and the divinity of Christ, and also the Pelagian heresy, which denies the doctrine of original sin. At the The Council of Carthage (418) and The Second Council of Orange (529) they affirmed that both Adam’s physical and spiritual death came about due to his sin and was not part of the natural world. And, that this sin nature passed to all Adam’s descendants separating us eternally from God. Pelagius said that Adam’s sin had no effect on the human race. He was condemned as a heretic by the early church.

Adam was initially created immortal

If the notion that Adam would have died physically apart from sin was declared to be heresy, why would Craig think these canons are now irrelevant? It’s because he thinks that humankind evolved from some ape-like creature involving millions of years of death of various ‘unfit’ species along the way. The Bible clearly teaches that a sinful nature and physical and spiritual death came into this world through Adam’s disobedience and was passed from Adam to all his descendants. This is the basis as to why the Creator—the only sinless man to have walked the earth—came to take the punishment that doomed Adam’s descendants.

“For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 15:21–22).

Be on the lookout for false teachers

Craig’s mytho-history is just one of several compromised views that have exploded onto the scene recently. Others include John Walton’s functional creation and Joshua Swamidass’ genealogical Adam (type these names into CREATION.com for more). It is no surprise that concerned pastors and Christians have contacted CMI looking for insight into these compromised views. It is not logical that all views can be correct, and as Christians, we need to be discerning and keep watch. Bob J. emailed to say …

“I just wanted to make contact to encourage you folks in your ministry! I have relatives who have been caught in the web of William Lane Craig and the big bang with billions of years. Men like this that bring the atheist’s religion of evolution into the church and undermine Genesis and destroy truth as well as the faith of countless people ought not be allowed to teach in the church. I praise God for your ministry.”

Published: 5 October 2023

References and notes

  1. A Quest for the Historical Adam: A Conversation with William Lane Craig, youtu.be/8TQ8w_9qN4Q. Return to text.
  2. A Quest for the Historical Adam: A Conversation with William Lane Craig, 6:09–6:14 and 51:22–51:38, youtu.be/8TQ8w_9qN4Q. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Refuting Compromise
by Dr Jonathan Sarfati
US $17.00
Soft cover
The Genesis Account
by Jonathan Sarfati
US $39.00
Hard cover