Evolution makes atheists out of people—Mark 2!
Ex-BioLogos leader Karl Giberson admits futility of his compromise
Published: 3 December 2015 (GMT+10)
In a recent article, I documented how evolutionary compromise undermines the professed faith of many. Conversely, a consistent biblical (‘young earth’) creation apologetic has preserved or restored the faith of many. One major evidence was physics lecturer Karl Giberson, a former vice-President of the leading theistic evolutionary organization BioLogos, which is happy with the idea that Jesus was mistaken about creation.1 (See the related articles below for our views on BioLogos.) For many years, he has been a vexatious critic of biblical creation, but feigned surprise that so many of his students ended up leaving the church altogether.
A major problem is that evolution undermines a historical Adam, and thus the reason for the Gospel. It also entails that God used death, which He called ‘the last enemy’ (1 Corinthians 15:26), as His means for bringing about a creation He called ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:31; see ‘Just preach the Gospel!’ Or: how not to impress atheists). Many atheists, such as Richard Dawkins and Jacques Monod, wondered why on earth anyone would believe in a God of love who used such a wasteful and cruel process as evolution to ‘create’. Interestingly, Dawkins has little time for such Christians who basically don’t believe what they are supposed to believe—that is, theistic evolutionists like Giberson and the rest of BioLogos—calling them ‘deluded’ and ‘barking mad’.
Has evolution made an atheist out of Giberson?
Strangely enough, organizations like BioLogos claim that biblical creationists are undermining the faith by affirming the Bible, while they of course are strengthening the faith by abandoning the Bible. But how has this worked out? Giberson recently wrote a book blaming the Bible for almost all of America’s problems, Saving the Original Sinner: How Christians Have Used the Bible’s First Man to Oppress, Inspire, and Make Sense of the World. It would be most instructive to read the review in a recent Journal of Creation (29(3):37–41, 2015), which exposes his misology and antibiblicism.2 Yet he claimed that he had solved the problem of reconciling evolution with a God of love.
So how well did his theodicy hold up? (Theodicy means a justification of God’s goodness in the face of evil.3) One test came from a low-information atheist John W. Loftus, an embittered apostate who left his preaching ministry after self-confessed cheating on his wife.4 His absurdities extend to denying that Jesus even existed! So coping with Loftus would surely be an easier test than one of the leading ‘new atheists’—although they in turn wimp out of debates with informed creationists.
But evidently not. Giberson wrote a blurb on a Loftus book published this year:
For years I have despaired about the sorry state of Christian apologetics, and even sorrier state of Christian apologists. If there be Christian truth, it lies beyond the reach of rational inquiry, and perhaps that is OK. In How to Defend the Christian Faith, John Loftus lays waste to a colosseum full of bad arguments, including my own tentative efforts at the problem of evil. (Loftus says I am “ignorant” but less ignorant than Ken Ham, which was a relief.) Believers should read Loftus’s engaging assault on their intellectual champions. They will be dismayed at how often they agree. I know I was.6
As can be seen, the tortuous attempts to reconcile evolution with a God of love crashed in ruins even against a village-atheistic critique, by Giberson’s own admission. And what is left of Giberson’s faith? We have long wondered whether Giberson is a Christian. Note, not because he is an evolutionist, since we have always made it clear that it is possible to be a saved evolutionist (see Can Christians believe evolution?). Rather, it is because he is a consistent evolutionist who has abandoned many biblical doctrines, and because of passages like the following that show that he has less-than-honorable motives for professing Christianity:
… my belief in God is tinged with doubts and, in my more reflective moments, I sometimes wonder if I am perhaps simply continuing along the trajectory of a childhood faith that should be abandoned. As a purely practical matter, I have compelling reasons to believe in God. My parents are deeply committed Christians and would be devastated, were I to reject my faith. My wife and children believe in God, and we attend church together regularly. Most of my friends are believers. I have a job I love at a Christian college that would be forced to dismiss me if I were to reject the faith that underpins the mission of the college. Abandoning belief in God would be disruptive, sending my life completely off the rails. I can sympathize with Darwin as he struggled against the unwanted challenges to his faith.7,8
But now, in the atheistic book blurb, he says “If there be Christian truth”—IF? This smacks of agnosticism! Then “it lies beyond the reach of rational inquiry, and perhaps that is OK.” Not at all, since Jesus said that “the Greatest Commandment” was “Love the Lord your God … with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). If Giberson is right, then how are you supposed to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2) or “have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)? Whatever faith Giberson is left with, it is not the logical and intellectual faith of biblical Christianity. At best, it can be the blind faith of atheistic caricatures that lacks the slightest resemblance to the real thing.
So much for the BioLogos claim that they are a group for thinking Christians. Rather, according to one of their most prominent spokespeople, the end result of theistic evolutionary compromise is that believers must check in their brains at the church door.
References and notes
- Cosner, L., Evolutionary syncretism: a critique of BioLogos, creation.com/biologos, 7 September 2010. Return to text
- Woodmorappe, J., An evolution-imbibing compromising evangelical and his left-wing ideology: A review of Saving the Original Sinner (Karl W. Giberson), J. Creation 29(3):37–41, 2015. Return to text
- From Greek theos (θεός) = God and dikē (δίκη) = justice, right. Return to text
- Loftus, J.W., Why I Became an Atheist, Ch. 1, Prometheus, 2012. Return to text
- Actually, Ken Ham is much more qualified in biology than both Giberson and Loftus, and Bill Nye for that matter. Return to text
- Thanks to ‘vjtorley’, Karl Giberson reviews atheist John Loftus’ new book, uncommondescent.com, 16 August 2015. Return to text
- Giberson, K., Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution,pp. 155–156, 2008. See review, Bergman, J., The tragic toll of toxic teaching, J. Creation 25(3):33–36, 2011. Return to text
- See Batten, D., Karl Giberson unmasks himself: ‘Fifth columnists’ in our seminaries, creation.com/giberson-unmasked, June 2014. Return to text