Can evangelicals agree on ten theses about creation and evolution?

Answering Christianity Today’s claim that Evangelicals can agree to differ

by

Published: 24 January 2019 (GMT+10)

Christianity Today recently published a piece trying to pretend that one can consistently believe both evolution and the Bible, called Ten theses on creation and evolution that (most) Evangelicals can support.1 This is disappointing to us, since we have been dealing with this issue, in a much more concrete way, for a very long time.

Todd-Wilson
Todd Wilson

We should not be surprised that CT would publish this. They are commonly known as ‘neo-evangelical’, but for some years now, they have become more and more ‘neo’, while less and less ‘evangelical’. In 2015, they published an almost hagiographic article praising the racist eugenicist Margaret Sanger; in 2011 they undermined a historical Adam; in 2004 they even called on the leaders of the Intelligent Design movement to attack biblical (‘young-earth’) creation, and published another puff piece on theistic evolutionist Kenneth Miller while at the same time censoring replies that supported biblical creation (such as this one).

The author of this latest piece is pastor Todd Wilson, president and cofounder of the Center for Pastor Theologians. By his own account, he holds to “to a version of evolutionary creation”, which should surprise no one since he is a graduate of Wheaton College, long a hotbed of theistic evolution (TE).

Wilson’s 10 theses remind me of a piece back around the turn of the millennium by old-earth creationist Hugh Ross, called Ten Major Differences and Similarities Between Calendar-Day, such as CMI, and Day-Age Creationists, such as Ross. In my response to Ross, I agreed with all 10 of his claimed similarities: however, as can be seen, there are some differences in what we mean by them.

With this new list of theses by Wilson, there are only some I would agree with at face value. Others I would not only disagree with, but argue that they are mutually incompatible with some of the other theses. Thus, his system is self-refuting. His words are in red, and all the theses are quoted verbatim, as are many, but not all, of his explanations.

1. The doctrine of creation is central to the Christian faith

This is a very good start. Too many have claimed that creation is a side issue, on the lines of ‘Just preach the Gospel’. Wilson also acknowledges, “We’ve categorized the doctrine as a ’secondary’ or ‘tertiary’ issue in an attempt to preserve church unity.” But Wilson to his credit rejects this:

Of course, some doctrines are nearer to the core or closer to the periphery than others. Angelology isn’t central. Nor are certain aspects of eschatology. But the doctrine of salvation is; so too the doctrine of God, the doctrine of the Spirit, and the doctrine of Christ.

We should add to this list the doctrine of creation for the simple reason that it addresses some of the fundamentals of our faith—the reason for and nature of the world God has made, as well as the reason for and nature of the creatures God has made, not least those creatures made in God’s image.

But what does this mean? When the great preacher Martyn Lloyd Jones explained the essential beliefs that evangelicals must hold, or else they cannot be called evangelicals, he insisted more specifically:

We accept the biblical teaching with regard to creation and do not base our position upon theories of evolution, whichever particular theory people may choose to advocate.
2. The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God, inspired, authoritative, and without error. Therefore whatever Scripture teaches is to be believed as God’s instruction, without denying that the human authors of Scripture communicated using the cultural conventions of their time.

Again, this is very good. Wilson first explains, “I have found it helpful in origin discussions to begin with a full-throated affirmation of the inspiration, authority, and inerrancy of the Bible.” We totally agree! But Wilson continues, “This is especially true for those who are sympathetic to evolutionary creation since they are sometimes unfairly portrayed as sitting loosely to Scripture.”

But the real problem is that this is a fair portrayal of many TE leaders. Some years ago, the head of Australia’s leading TE organization ISCAST explicitly said: “[Y]es, Jesus believed in Genesis, but He was mistaken during the Incarnation [i.e. the kenotic heresy], but we know better because of the ‘light of science’.” And on the American TE site BioLogos, where Wilson has published virtually the same article, there appeared the following (although it has since disappeared):

If Jesus as a finite human being erred from time to time, there is no reason at all to suppose that Moses, Paul, or John wrote Scripture without error. Rather, we are wise to assume that the biblical authors expressed themselves as human beings writing from the perspectives of their own finite, broken horizons.2

Anyway, Wilson continues:

It’s not a viable option for those committed to the authority of Scripture to say, “I know the Bible teaches this, but I don’t believe it.”

Correct!

Also:

At root, we want to know what this particular author meant to say, at this particular time, with these particular cultural conventions.

CMI also teaches this, sometimes refining the statement to include wanting to know how the original readers would have understood it. This is called ‘original public meaning originalism’, or the ‘grammatical historical approach’. Actually, both Augustine and Tyndale called this the ‘literal’ meaning of the text—as opposed to a ‘woodenly literalistic’ understanding, which CMI has always rejected. So, despite accusations to the contrary by mendacious critics, CMI has always taught the accepted meaning of the word ‘literal’, which has a nuanced and scholarly history of usage handed down to us by some of great Christian scholars of the past.

A serious omission from the statement is the sufficiency of Scripture. During the Reformation, all sides agreed with inerrancy and authority of Scripture; but only the Reformers insisted on Sola Scriptura. This omission should not be surprising, because if we derived our understanding of the history of the universe directly from the biblical text, we would never find billions of year or evolution. This is why deep time was not taught by the Church Fathers or Reformers. Invariably, belief in long ages or evolution is imposed from outside ideas. It does not derive from the Scriptures themselves and no Christian scholar of any merit taught deep time until very late in history. This also means, in practice, that uniformitarian ‘science’ becomes the final authority, and the Scriptural texts must be re-interpreted to fit, i.e. Scriptura sub scientiā.

This is why different opinions about creation are different in kind, not merely degree, from many of the other doctrinal disputes within Protestant churches. E.g. when it comes to mode and subject of baptism, the nature of the Millennium, or forms of church governance, all sides agree that Scripture is the authority; they just disagree about its interpretation. But the creation debate is about whether Scripture is the authority—see End-times and Early-times.

3. Genesis 1–2 is historical in nature, rich in literary artistry, and theological in purpose. These chapters should be read with the intent of discerning what God says through what the human author has said.

We can agree with this, mostly, when it is understood properly. But Genesis is not just ‘historical in nature’, as if it contains some history. It is historical in essence. That is, it is written as a matter-of-fact historical account and was interpreted as such by the great majority of scholars throughout the great majority of the Christian era. The phrase ‘in nature’ opens an interpretive gap wide enough to drive a truck through, and so we must reject it. Wilson’s attempt at bringing both sides together fails badly at this point. And we can see the results of such phraseology. Many TE supporters clearly deny that Genesis is real history, and many even reject ‘concordist’ approaches to Genesis that claim to find long ages in the text. Some even mendaciously claim that the Bible is a flat-earth book (although almost no Christian throughout church history ever took it that way), and so it can’t be taken as a reliable source when it touches on science or history.

Wilson explains:

Clearly, the text is intended to be read as a historical account, at least at some level. This isn’t ancient mythology or folklore. More is going on. And yet a close reading of these texts reveals rich literary artistry. This isn’t the kind of “just the facts” reporting you find in a newspaper.

Genesis is definitely historical, and at more than ‘some level’. The literary genre is Hebrew historical narrative, and this is how the NT authors and Jesus Himself understood it—see Genesis is history!

Yet it seems clear that the author’s aim is ultimately theological—to say something about God, the nature of the world, and the identity and destiny of human beings who are created in his image (Gen. 1:27). The point is not ultimately about supernovas or greenhouse gases or horticulture but about “God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth,” as the Apostle’s Creed puts it.

However, this is akin to a common objection to our ministry, ‘The important thing is that God created, isn’t it?’, which I have previously addressed:

Ever had someone tell you, ‘You’re missing the whole point! The purpose of Genesis is to teach that God is our Creator. We should not be divisive over the small details. Genesis teaches the theological truth of “Who?” and “Why?” not about the “How?” and “When?”’ Or else they say that the Bible is a book for faith and morality, not history.

An obvious answer is, why should we trust Genesis when it says God created if we can’t trust it on the details? After all, Jesus told Nicodemus, “I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? ” (John 3:12). So if Genesis can’t be trusted on an earthly thing, such as Earth’s age, the sequence of creative acts upon it, or the Flood that covered it, then why trust it on a heavenly thing such as who the Creator was? Also, if Genesis 1 were merely meant to tell us that God is creator, then why simply not stop at verse 1, all that’s necessary to state this?

4. God created and sustains everything. This means that he is as much involved in natural processes as he is in supernatural events. Creation itself provides unmistakable evidence of God’s handiwork.

In our secular age, even Christians are accustomed to viewing the world in mechanistic or materialistic ways—we find it quite easy to affirm that God is involved in raising someone from the dead, but we also slip into patterns of thinking that exclude God from the routine workings of nature, like the rotation of the stars, the formation of clouds, or the grass as it grows. That’s just nature doing its thing.

Many people confuse miracles and straight-up operational science, and Wilson here seems to be stumbling. As we have stated before, in how to understand miracles:

The founders of modern science, like modern creationists, regarded ‘natural laws’ as descriptions of the way God upholds His creation in a regular and repeatable way (Col. 1:15–17). Miracles are God’s way of upholding His creation in a special way for special reasons. Because creation finished at the end of day 6 (Gen. 2:1–3), creationists following the Bible would expect that God has mostly worked through ‘natural laws’ since then, except for the occasional miracle. And since ‘natural laws’ are descriptive, they cannot prescribe what cannot happen, so they cannot rule out miracles. Scientific laws do not cause or forbid anything. Similarly, the outline of a map does not cause the shape of the coastline.

Because creation finished at the end of day 6, biblical creationists would try to find natural laws for every aspect of operational science, and would not invoke a miracle to explain any repeating event in nature in the present.

An upshot of this is that creation itself provides unmistakable evidence of God’s handiwork. As the psalmist declares, “The heavens are telling the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1, NRSV). Or as the apostle Paul puts it, God’s “invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Rom. 1:20, ESV).

We often point out these passages too. But these are fatal for evolutionists, as we have explained:

This passage clearly teaches that unbelievers won't have the slightest excuse for unbelief, because God’s power and deity can be “clearly seen” from nature. This seems to be a strong support for the argument from design. However, according to Stephen Jay Gould, one of Darwin’s main motivations was to counteract the argument from design.3 So if evolution were true, or if there was “gobs of evidence”,4 then where is the clear evidence for God's power from what has been made? Far from being evidence for a divine hand, evolution, according to Gould, gives ‘evidence’ that “there’s nothing else going on out there—just organisms struggling to pass their genes on to the next generation. That’s it.” So once again, if evolution were true, there is no evidence for a God from what has been made, but evidence only for ruthless struggle for existence. So why would unbelievers be “without excuse” if evolution were true?

And one glaring omission in this statement is the role of the global Flood in Genesis 6–8. The same type of argument can be made from “Scoffers will … deliberately ignore this fact, … the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.” (2 Peter 3:3–6). This strongly implies that the Flood must have left some dramatic evidence, otherwise why would scoffers be held culpable for “deliberately ignoring” the fact of the Flood if there is no evidence? Yet supporters of TE and old-earth creation generally dismiss the Flood as local, legendary, or tranquil—none of which would leave a trace.

But what we believe about the Flood should affect what we believe about earth’s history. If there really was a global Flood, we don’t need to postulate billions of years to explain the rocks and fossils, because of the scientific principle that we can often trade intensity for time. Conversely, those who wanted to ‘free science from Moses’ first attacked the Flood and replaced it with slow and gradual processes.

5. Adam and Eve were real persons in a real past, and the fall was a real event with real and devastating consequences for the entire human race.

This is likely to be a sticking point for some. An increasing number of evangelical ‘evolutionary creationists’ are giving up belief in Adam and Eve as real persons in a real past.

It should be a sticking point. If we doubt ‘the first man, Adam’, then why should we believe in Jesus, “the last Adam”, since the Apostle Paul links them so strongly in his Gospel/Resurrection presentation in 1 Corinthians 15.5 But then Wilson wavers badly:

The genetic evidence, at least as we now understand it, makes belief in an original human pair doubtful if not impossible.
dennis-venema
Dennis Venema

You mean, how you misunderstand it, because of the BioLogos agitprop by the likes of Francis Collins and Dennis Venema, and remaining willfully ignorant of the counters by equally qualified creationist geneticists (see links above). It’s even worse, because Venema has been directly contradicted by evolutionary geneticist Richard Buggs, Professor of Evolutionary Genomics at Queen Mary, University of London. He pointed out a fact that creationist geneticists proved independently, albeit concentrating on post-Flood diversification: that in a diverse population, a tiny number of individuals could retain most of their diversity, and a bottleneck need not destroy most diversity as long as the population recovers quickly. A fortiori, this would apply to a human couple with created diversity, even if Eve were a haploid clone of Adam. Buggs writes:

… population geneticists [ref.] showed that even a bottleneck of a single pair would not lead to massive decreases in genetic diversity, if followed by rapid population growth. When two individuals are taken at random from an existing large population, they will on average carry 75% of its heterozygosity [ref.]. From a bottleneck of a single fertilised female, if population size doubles every generation, after many generations the population will have over half of the heterozygosity of the population before the bottleneck [ref.]. If population growth is faster than this, the proportion of heterozygosity maintained will be higher.

In general, I am concerned that the studies you [Venema] cite did not set out to test the hypothesis that humans have passed through a single-couple bottleneck. They are simply trying to reconstruct the most probable past effective population sizes of humans given the standard assumptions of population genetic models. I personally would feel ill at ease claiming that they prove that a short sudden bottleneck is impossible.6

I suspect in 20 years’ time, support for Adam and Eve as real persons in a real past will be a minority view even within evangelicalism.

More accurately, if evangelicalism has any real meaning, the majority will have departed from it. Rather, they will have become part of theological liberalism.

Should this come to pass, I remain confident that the Christian faith will survive, even though this will require some reconfiguration of our deepest convictions.

This ‘reconfiguration’ will just be a rehash of the older justifications for theological liberalism: modern science has made traditional understandings of Christianity unsupportable, so we must reconfigure them in the light of the modern world. What’s to stop them moving further in denying every doctrine of Christianity, e.g. the former Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong. In fact, almost a century ago, the great theologian and apologist Gresham Machen showed that this is not a reconfiguration of Christianity at all, but the invention of another religion totally different from it:

In the sphere of religion, in particular, the present time is a time of conflict; the great redemptive religion which has always been known as Christianity is battling against a totally diverse type of religious belief, which is only the more destructive of the Christian faith because it makes use of traditional Christian terminology. This modern non-redemptive religion is called ‘modernism’ or ‘liberalism’…. But manifold as are the forms in which the movement appears, the root of the movement is one; the many varieties of modern liberal religion are rooted in naturalism, that is, in the denial of any entrance of the creative power of God.

[W]hat the liberal theologian has retained after abandoning to the enemy one Christian doctrine after another is not Christianity at all, but a religion which is so entirely different from Christianity as to belong in a distinct category.7

Also, this compromise doesn’t impress atheopaths in the slightest, because they know well that Paul’s Gospel message related to a real Adam. E.g. Dawkins was scathing:

Oh but of course the story of Adam and Eve was only ever symbolic, wasn’t it? Symbolic?! So Jesus had himself tortured and executed for a symbolic sin by a non-existent individual? Nobody not brought up in the faith could reach any verdict other than barking mad!

Hence a warning to BioLogos from a creationist blogger:

By your compromise, (A) you are not winning them over, but (B) are signaling to them that they are winning you over. They will simply wait you out, until you continue in your process of jettisoning everything the world hates about you as a Christian. After all, if they can get you to toss such a straightforward chapter, the rest should be child’s play.8

However, Wilson backtracks, and in a good way:

That being said, I personally don’t find the genetic evidence compelling enough to jettison belief in a real Adam and Eve in a real past.

It certainly is not!

I admit that the evidence is mounting and at this stage looks (to my untrained eye) impressive.

It would be far better to train his eye on contrary evidence, as above!

But two scriptural convictions keep me tethered to the historic Christian conviction about the original human pair. The first is the testimony of Scripture, especially Adam’s presence in genealogies (Gen. 5; Luke 1 [sic; Luke 3]) and in Paul’s Adam-Christ typology in Romans 5. Even more compelling is the idea that the Christian view of salvation appears to hinge on the doctrine of original sin and the fall as an event, which in turn requires a real person to have transgressed and thus plunged humanity into a state of sin from which it needs redemption.

This is exactly what we have been saying for over 40 years! Surely this should be enough to dismiss the attacks on a historical Adam by many leading TEs? And note that these passages make it clear that Adam was a real first man. It thus contradicts the claim that God selected him out of many hominids evolving from a population of ape-like creatures.

His Thesis 5, if true, is enough to dismiss all forms of evolution of man from non-human ancestors. Ergo, this point is mutually incompatible with many of his other theses. See also Debating an historical Adam and the destruction of the Gospel.

6. Human beings are created in the image of God and are thus unique among God’s creatures. They possess special dignity within creation.

We agree so far—humans, both male and female, still bear God’s image, albeit a broken image after the Fall. But we must ask a critical question: what does it really mean for him?

Wikipedia.orgchimp
Modern science has demonstrated that there is strong biological continuity between human beings and all other animals. Human beings, for example, share 98.5 percent of their DNA with chimpanzees. It is increasingly difficult, then, to claim that human beings are qualitatively distinct from the animal kingdom.

In reality, there is no continuity in the sense of descent, so it would be better to use the word commonality, i.e. there are many things we have in common with animals. If we didn’t, then what would we eat? In any case, this is the argument from homology which we have amply covered.

We also note that like many who reject biblical authority, he has no alternative to chasing after secular bandwagons, huffing and puffing to try to keep up, but failing. The 98.5% is one of those outdated claims. Such figures were first proposed by geneticists Charles Sibley and Jon Ahlquist, but the latter has now become a biblical creationist! Dr Ahlquist explains why even this (wrong) figure would not prove common ancestry:

The fact that our bodies have a Bauplan [body plan] like that of primates is not coincidental, nor does it have anything to do with evolution. To achieve our function we need to be bipedal, have a large cranial capacity, be omnivorous and have opposable thumbs. This produces certain constraints on our DNA, in the same way that the need to fly in certain ways restricts the design of birds, and thus constrains their DNA.

One reason for the desire for a small difference between chimps and humans is that they believe that the human-chimp lineages split only 5 million years ago. So by their own reasoning, they shouldn’t be too different. But does even this claimed small difference help their cause?

Since the human genome has 3 billion ‘letters’, every 1% difference amounts to 30 million letters. How could the mutations have been substituted so fast? After all, they only have 5 or so million years to create millions and millions of fixed differences between the two species. Worse, they only have a few hundred thousand generations. There simply is not enough time. This well-known problem is known as Haldane’s Dilemma. It dates to the 1950s, and has NOT been solved. In fact, it has only gotten worse.9

And that brings us to a discussion of the real percent difference between humans and chimps. One evolutionary video points out:

Yes, we share 99% of our DNA with chimps—if we ignore 18% of their genome and 25% of ours.10

Even Venema rejects such a high similarity, saying, “our entire genomes are either around 95 per cent or 98 per cent identical depending on how one counts the effects of deletions of small blocks of DNA,”11 or later on a blog, “95% is the best estimate we have for the genome-wide identity of chimps and humans if you count indels on a per-nucleotide basis.”12 Buggs disagrees with even this 95% estimate—this should be regarded “not as a statement of established fact,”13 and better analysis suggests that the similarity is <85%. He explains:

To come up with the most accurate current assessment that I could of the similarity of the human and chimpanzee genome, I downloaded from the UCSC genomics website[14] the latest alignments (made using the LASTZ software) between the human and chimpanzee genome assemblies, hg38 and pantro6. … This gave the following for the human genome:

4.06% had no alignment to the chimp assembly
5.18% was in CNVs relative to chimp
1.12% differed due to SNPs in the one-to-one best aligned regions

0.28% differed due to indels within the one-to-one best aligned regions

The percentage of nucleotides in the human genome that had one-to-one exact matches in the chimpanzee genome was 84.38%.12

Creationist scientists have also tackled this subject in detail.

After this, Wilson makes some of the same points we have been making for decades. They are not compatible with evolution no matter how he pretends:

And yet Scripture clearly intends to say that something special took place on the sixth day of creation when God created human beings. The change of language is indication enough: from “Let the waters teem” (Gen. 1:20) and “Let the land produce” (Gen. 1:24) to “Let us make” (Gen. 1:26). Here the creation reaches a new stage, a high point, and God leans into the creation of humanity in a way that is distinct from what has gone before.

The Christian tradition has tended to locate this uniqueness in the doctrine of the imago Dei, or image of God. Defining precisely what this image of God entails has been vexing for theologians. But the basic point is straightforward enough—humanity is endowed by God with a special dignity. While there is continuity between humans and the rest of animal-kind, this sixth-day creation called “humankind” is unique.

But this uniqueness is precisely what evolutionists are at great pains to deny. If humans evolved from apes, there is no special time when we became humans, there is no real qualitative difference between us and other animals, and there is nothing that makes us special compared to anything else in the universe. You can’t have TE and human exceptionalism at the same time.

7. There is no final conflict between the Bible rightly understood and the facts of science rightly understood. God’s “two books,” Scripture and nature, ultimately agree. Therefore Christians should approach the claims of contemporary science with both interest and discernment, confident that all truth is God’s truth.

Some take issue with the notion of God’s “two books,” the book of Scripture and the book of nature. But metaphor goes back at least to Augustine and can be found in esteemed places like the Belgic Confession.

However well meaning, this comparison can be taken too far. The Bible is literally a book (or a collection of books), but nature at best is only metaphorically a book, as I explained in Refuting Compromise:

The Bible is propositional revelation, i.e. it uses words to reveal true propositions, or facts about things. Therefore it can be interpreted according to the rules of grammar and historical context. And because God wrote the Bible to instruct man, starting with the original readers, its propositions would be understandable. … However, nature does not contain propositional revelation, but instead the data must be interpreted according to a framework.

Another problem is that everything in nature has been affected by the Fall, and so have we, so we need guidance from an unfallen source, as explained in the same book.

[B]because of Adam’s sin, the creation is cursed (Genesis 3:17–19, Romans 8:20–22), man’s heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) and the thinking of a godless man is ‘futile’ (Romans 1:21). But although Scripture was penned by fallen humans, these humans were moved by the Holy Spirit, so Scripture itself is ‘God-breathed’ (2 Timothy 3:15–17). Therefore, Scripture is the only source of revelation not tainted by the Fall.

So a Biblical Christian should not reinterpret the perfect, unfallen Word of God according to fallible theories of sinful humans about a world we know to be cursed. As the systematic theologian Louis Berkhof approvingly explained about the views of some leading Reformed theologians:

… Since the entrance of sin into the world, man can gather true knowledge about God from His general revelation only if he studies it in the light of Scripture, in which the elements of God’s original self-revelation, which were obscured and perverted by the blight of sin, are republished, corrected, and interpreted.15

Berkhof’s own view was:

Some are inclined to speak of God’s general revelation as a second source; but this is hardly correct in view of the fact that nature can come into consideration here only as interpreted in the light of Scripture.16

Hence, we can only use science ministerially, to elaborate and elucidate where Scripture is silent, and to defend it. In practice, all old-earth views, whether old-earth creationist or TE, use science magisterially, to overrule the propositions of Scripture—see Biblical history and the role of science. (Some have argued that this approach would make us geocentrists, but this betrays a serious misunderstanding of the matter—our detailed paper on this.)

8. The Christian faith is compatible with different scientific theories of origins, from young-earth creationism to evolutionary creationism, but it is incompatible with any view that rejects God as the Creator and Sustainer of all things. Christians can (and do) differ on their assessment of the merits of various scientific theories of origins.

The Christian faith is not logically compatible with ‘evolutionary creation’ aka TE. The breakdown occurs not when God is questioned as the Creator, but when the Scripture is questioned as an authoritative source of history. God can be a distant creator, a primary creator (e.g., maybe He ‘lit the fuse’ of the big bang then took his hands off), or an absent minded creator (hence philosophers have struggled with the question of theodicy [the source of evil] for millennia). But none of these are compatible with the clear historicity of Genesis. Some of the other theses, understood by the normal meaning of the sentences, show this. This is especially true of the clear teaching of a literal Adam and Eve, which is foundational to the Gospel.

Now I am not saying that theistic evolutionists are unsaved; I am merely making a statement about the logical incompatibility of their views and the Bible. Since Jesus is called the logos (John 1), being Christ-like should include being logical, but being illogical is not the unforgivable sin—see also Can Christians believe evolution?

But Wilson insists:

Yet we must understand that the supposed conflict between Christianity and evolution is more apparent than real. The Christian faith, in principle, is not at odds with evolution as a science but with evolution as a worldview. Christians can and do assess the merits of the science of evolution differently. That’s all good and well. But the claim that evolution is by its very nature opposed to Christianity is simply overreaching—it’s not defensible philosophically or theologically.
Jacques-Lucien-Monod
Jacques Monod (1910–1976)

Wilson can assert this all he likes, but as shown above, atheopaths are not impressed, and it’s no accident that they use evolution to bludgeon even more people into atheopathy. Any billions-of-years view is most definitely incompatible with Scripture: the time frame, details, and even the order of events; and all impose both human and animal death before human sin.

Even worse, if that were possible, TE proposes that God used death, “the last enemy” (1 Corinthians 15:26), as his means of bringing about a creation that He declared “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Instead of the above TE romanticisation of the evolutionary process, the French biochemist and atheistic evolutionist Jacques Monod (1910–1976) pointed out that evolution is:

The more cruel because it is a process of elimination, of destruction. The struggle for life and elimination of the weakest is a horrible process, against which our whole modern ethics revolts. An ideal society is a non-selective society, is one where the weak is protected; which is exactly the reverse of the so-called natural law. I am surprised that a Christian would defend the idea that this is the process which God more or less set up in order to have evolution (emphasis added).17

See also Response to the evolution appeasers.

Wilson insists:

Some Christians believe that God created the world several thousand years ago. They see this as the plain reading of Scripture and what Christians have believed for centuries. There are others who take the Bible just as seriously but see the scientific evidence a little differently and think the world is very old—several billion years.

But here we see the difference: Wilson can’t help revealing that the old-earth position is not text-driven but science-driven. And by ‘science’, read evolutionary uniformitarianism, a faulty religio-philosophical view of history masquerading as science, not the real operational/observational science of the type that put men on the moon, builds technology, or cures diseases.

9. Christians should be well grounded in the Bible’s teaching on creation but always hold their views with humility, respecting the convictions of others and not aggressively advocating for positions on which evangelicals disagree.

This is good material, at face value, but one wonders whether Wilson intends to direct this at organizations that are openly hostile to YEC, such as Reasons to Believe and BioLogos. And as I’ve said before, “Humility and grace is an admirable goal, but not when it is a feigned humility used as an excuse for disbelieving what the Bible clearly teaches.” See also True versus false humility: The Incarnation, Creation and evolution.

10. Everything in creation finds its source, goal, and meaning in Jesus Christ, in whom the whole of creation will one day achieve eschatological redemption and renewal. All things will be united in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

All true. So why not have the same view of Genesis as Jesus had? All the NT writers likewise affirmed the people, events, and even the order of events as written in Genesis.

More than that, we confess that Christ is also the telos of this creation. Not only its meaning but its goal—its redeemer and the source of creation’s climatic resolution. Or as Scripture so pointedly says, God’s will has been “set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Eph. 1:9–10, ESV).

This is yet another problem with his view: what one believes about the past must affect how one views the future. Randy Alcorn points out:

Redeem. Restore. Recover. Return. Renew. Resurrect. Each of these biblical words begins with the re- prefix, suggesting a return to an original condition that was ruined or lost. God always sees us in light of what He intended us to be, and He always seeks to restore us to that design.

But if our past is billions of years of death and suffering, then a ‘restoration’ to a condition in the past logically means our future is also billions of years of death and suffering. But the closing chapters of the Bible say that all suffering will be ended, because this is the result of the curse, and this will be abolished, while the Tree of Life once again flourishes. (Revelation 21:4, 22:1–3).

Thus the Bible comes around full circle—the last chapters point back to the first, but to something even better: there will no longer be even the possibility of redeemed people sinning, as the first person, Adam, did in the biblical Garden of Eden.

References and notes

  1. Wilson, T., Ten theses on creation and evolution that (most) Evangelicals can support: We won’t achieve perfect unanimity on every contested topic, christianitytoday.com, 4 January 2019. Return to text.
  2. Sparks, K., “After Inerrancy, Evangelicals and the Bible in the Postmodern Age, part 4” Biologos Forum, 26 June 2010. Return to text.
  3. Wieland, C., Darwin’s real message: Have you missed it? Creation 14(4)16–19, September—November 1992; creation.com/realmessage. Return to text.
  4. Wood, T.C., The truth about evolution, toddcwood.blogspot.com/2009/09/truth-about-evolution.html, 30 September; a confused fideistic tirade that a number of atheopathic evolutionists adored. Return to text.
  5. Cosner, L., Christ as the Last Adam: Paul’s use of the Creation narrative in 1 Corinthians 15, J. Creation 23(3):70–75, 2009; creation.com/1-corinthians-15. Return to text.
  6. Buggs, R., Email to Dennis Venema about human population bottlenecks, richardbuggs.com,29 September 2017; see also Gauger, A., Does science rule out a first human pair? Geneticist Richard Buggs says no, evolutionnews.org, 3 October 2017. Return to text.
  7. Machen, J.G., Christianity and Liberalism, 1923. Return to text.
  8. Phillips, D., “A Coda on the Week’s Discussion” Pyromaniacs 26 June 2010. Return to text.
  9. Rupe, C.L. and Sanford, J.C., Using numerical simulation to better understand fixation rates, and establishment of a new principle: Haldane’s Ratchet, in Horstemeyer, M. (ed.) Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Creationism, Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship, 2013. Return to text.
  10. MinuteEarth, Are we really 99% chimp? at 1:47, youtube.com, 11 June 2015. Return to text.
  11. Venema, D.R. and McKnight, S., Adam and the Genome: Reading scripture after genetic science, p. 32, Brazos Press, Grand Rapids, MI, 2017. Return to text.
  12. Venema, D.R. Human Ape Genome Similarity, discourse.biologos.org, 24 June 2018. Return to text.
  13. Buggs, R., How similar are human and chimpanzee genomes? richardbuggs.com, 14 July 2018. Return to text.
  14. hgdownload.cse.ucsc.edu/goldenpath/hg38/vsPanTro6/. Return to text.
  15. Berkhof, L., Introductory volume to Systematic Theology, p. 60, Banner of Truth, 1958. Return to text.
  16. Berkhof, Ref. 15, p. 96. Return to text.
  17. Monod, Jacques, The Secret of Life, ABC interview, Australia, 1976. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments

J L.
“If Jesus as a finite human being erred from time to time …”—tells me everything I need to know about them.
Andre F.
This problem is to some extent as old as Christianity, some Christians stand on God’s Word and be willing to be mocked and even die for it. However, then you get a large portion of Christians who want to be Christian and please the world, the latter group don’t like to be mocked and belittled and would rather water down God’s word in order not to endure the mocking from the world. However, Christ warned us that you cannot serve two masters and if you want to follow Him you must die to yourself.
David G.
What God ‘means’ by the creation account is that his creation occured in the same space-time reality in which we live as the basis for the reality of God’s fellowship with us. If something other than the creation really happened, then something else is ‘really real’ and the actual basis of reality: thus, reality is something other than we understand it to be from both the Bible and our experience. Its a far deeper issue than the words and goes to our basic structure of being, created by our loving Father.
Fabian M.
I have been reading your articles and I like it. But I want to ask how do you can explain the “evolution” of the Bajau tribe? I know this is not a Q&A forum but I didn’t find an article about this. Sorry about my bad English and thanks for your time.
Jonathan Sarfati
I am not sure what “evolution” could mean in this context. The Bajau traditionally live on houseboats, but this is human ingenuity and lifestyle choice, not evolution.
Richard G.
I do not purport to have fully read this beautiful article. Jonathan endears himself to me as a fellow New Zealander alone but I back him up because of his stance re evolution/creation. I assert that these brethren in the evolutionary camp are clever even if often in error. They've had years of training at answering exam questions and possibly received good marks but none of them has ever had 100% in every exam, I guess. Therefore they may be in error. And so each of us must be very careful that at all times we speak and write before God and perfectly honestly too. Who is not affected by his nature and his nurture, accepting some things without being able to prove them but just because so and so affirms them. It's not a matter of brilliance; it's a moral matter.
Also let us be careful to refute or at least answer our critics/opponents, not ignore them. If I were clever enough I reckon I could write quite a screed supporting catholicism. That proves nothing in itself unless it may suggest I am clever, and who demands or produces that? Our opponents have ignored much of what biblical young-earth creationists have produced, in my opinion. They have to answer it.
Well that's a few thoughts. We love them of course, our brethren.
Jim M.
Under No. 4: When Wilson says that God is as much involved in natural processes as he is in supernatural events, I’m pretty sure that he is intending to say that just because science can explain the natural processes that created the universe, and just because they can explain it all without God, one cannot therefore say that God is not the Creator.

Why? Because “God is as much involved in natural processes as he is in supernatural events.”

This violates the witness of nature that clearly shows beyond question the existence of God, but that is how many of these theistic evolutionists try to harmonize science and the Bible. Perhaps that would be an acceptable solution if we didn't have to deal with the specifics of creation that God revealed in the Bible.
Jonathan Sarfati
Theistic evolutionists ignore that God finished His creative work (Genesis 2:1–2). His current sustaining work is thus different in kind from His creative work during Creation Week. The founders of modern science understood this. And indeed, theistic evolutionists must ignore the carefully recorded details of Genesis 1–3.
Revd Robert W.
Once again a good and very thorough article. I would say, that a recent creation and a worldwide watery wipe-out, are part of Natural Theology (General Revelation) and not just part of Holy Writ (Special Revelation); though they are part of that too. The surface of the Earth is really just a cemetery from that worldwide Flood, and time itself is a creation of the Divine Being, leaving all men without excuse, especially when they see all of the evidence. Not only did God make everything good in the space of six days, as the Catechism says, He also made the six days too. We need to emphasize, that time itself, is a creation of God; that will help us put everything in perspective.
Jonathan Sarfati
Indeed, the Westminster Larger Catechism teaches:

Q. 15. What is the work of creation?

A. The work of creation is that wherein God did in the beginning, by the word of his power, make of nothing the world, and all things therein, for himself, within the space of six days, and all very good.

Q. 17. How did God create man?

A. After God had made all other creatures, he created man male and female; formed the body of the man of the dust of the ground,[59] and the woman of the rib of the man, endued them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls; made them after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfill it, and dominion over the creatures; yet subject to fall.


The Westminster Confession itself states in ch. 4:

1. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.

2. After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after his own image; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfil it; and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change. Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures.


One wonders how much clearer this could be, and it’s clear from historical documents that the Westminster Divines understood the Creation days as ordinary-length days (documented in Refuting Compromise, Ch.3).

Todd Ryan H.
I’m finding 8, 9, 10 may contradict each other. I am a firm believer that once you sway from a literal creation account and start to value evolutionary aspects (besides scientific obviousness like environmental adaptation) you begin to open the door to human cognitive evolution and begin to take away from the Creator’s ability to establish order in accordance with his will and way. Just a thought and growing concern for allowing unsubstantiated theory to continue to dominate the narrative and almost seemingly an acceptance of distancing ourselves from literal biblical truths in order to allow us to stay “relevant” in secular sciences.
Jonathan Sarfati
Indeed so. The compromise on Genesis 1–11 hardly ever stays in Genesis; the rot spreads to all biblical doctrines.

And we would not even concede observable phenomena such as adaptation and natural selection to the evolutionists—they are part of the biblical Creation-Fall-Flood-Dispersion model, as opposed to the unbiblical idea of fixity of species and centres of creation, held by Darwin’s long-age mentor Charles Lyell, and now by progressive creationist Hugh Ross.
Alexander L.
I once had discourse with a “Theistic Evolutionist” who boasted that he was a serious Bible student and that he knew what he was talking about.

I asked him if he believed in creation as laid down in Genesis one and two, he replied that he did not.

I then asked him how man first came upon the earth and he replied, “God probably created a dead infant hominid”.

I then asked him how he could he lay claim to being a Christian if he believed in such nonsense, and at this point he became aggressive and insulting. He asked me if I was a flat earther? he asked if I believed, as did people of a past age, that the earth was flat and had four corners? I reminded him that the term “Four corners of the world were compass points “north south east and west” and had nothing to do with the shape of the world, and then I pointed him to Isaiah 40:22:

It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:


At this point, he cut of communications with me saying that he limits conversation to three emails, and that I had, had my quota.

By no stretch of the imagination is a theistic evolutionist a Christian they simply use a deity as the cherry upon their Darwinian cake.

When a man is saved he receives the Spirit of Truth who will lead him into all truth but the Theistic Evolutionist is without this Holy Spirit and therefore, he remains in darkness .

John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
Jonathan Sarfati
Yes, see our articles Isaiah 40:22 and the shape of the earth and Are (biblical) creationists ‘cornered’? and of course our major paper A flat earth, and other nonsense. And of course, almost no Christian writer in the entire history of the church taught a flat earth, as documented in The flat earth myth.

Could I advise in future that rather than ask whether someone could be a Christian and believe evolution, ask how evolution can be consistently reconciled with Christian teaching, especially Christ’s own words and Paul’s Gospel/Resurrection preaching? Such an approach might make such a person realize how problematic theistic evolution really is for Christianity, and repent (as did the founding chairman of CMI, Dr John Rendle-Short, or if such a person decides that Jesus and Paul were mistaken, demonstrate that this person really is outside the historic Christian faith.
Garnett G.
I think I’m done here. I absolutely love the clear and concise way things are explained. I do NOT like that I can’t copy the articles.
Jonathan Sarfati
Thank you for your generous comments on the article.

We have a generous copy allowance as explained in Our copyright policy. But since our website has many articles that explain things clearly and concisely, we suggest that people post a link to the article on our site.
Edmond C.
I believe there are many things that we will not fully know about God’s creation until God himself explains them to us. However, what is clear is that God gave us an account of creation that is meant to be taken as history. Even here, those supporting a different view admit as much. To get around this historical narrative you have to make all kinds of assumptions and read into many words and phrases things that just aren’t there. Now, God is complex, don’t get me wrong. He is a very complex God and does very complex things. One of the reasons I have faith that Christianity is the truth is because it is not superficial, it has a very deep and complex narrative doesn't contradict despite being spread over thousands of years, having sixty-six books, and 35–40 different human writers. It is evident when reading the Bible that God inspired it. The words are piercing and you know they are truth.
So who are we to believe, God, who managed to tell a coherent, non-contradictory story and keep the same message over thousands of years, or men that change narratives and update the origin story on a near daily basis? God, or men who have been caught on many occasions altering the truth to fit their narrative and disregarding evidence that does not agree with them? How should we interpret evidence? To fit a made up narrative or to fit the narrative that has been passed down to us in such a way that we can see from beginning to end God’s plan?
Matthew L.
Great article from Dr Sarfati. Once again the ease with which TE supporters believe current naturalistic explanations for the creation of the universe can be melded into the God's revealed account, is exposed for the beating of a round peg into a square hole, that it is. I often wonder if they can hear the skewed bias in their own words. “I admit that the evidence is mounting and at this stage looks (to my untrained eye) impressive.” These statements reveal much of the problem in the TE camp.

As Dr Sarfati discussed briefly in point #7 (and is covered in CMI articles such as Scripture and general revelation), the author seems convinced that naturalistic conclusions from fallen men in a cursed creation carry more authority than the written word of God. Never mind that rationality, uniformity, Induction/scientific method are only justified by the Bible's account (The biblical roots of modern science).

The author [Wilson] then tries to wield his (and other’s) faulty conclusions as a hermeneutic to interpret scripture. His fear that a belief in a historical Adam and Eve will soon be a minority position is being promoted by his own approach to Scripture and its authority. This is a shifting authority that many are quite comfortable using to undermine the true foundation.

I once heard a David Menton comment that if Noah’s ark were actually found, it would be only the second best evidence that God destroyed the world in a global catastrophe where only eight survived on board an ark. The best evidence remained the account given in Scripture. This is illustrative of the opposing mindsets within the church as we approach scripture. Thank you CMI for continuing to produce articles and resources to encourage and strengthen the church!
Richard R.
Machen was an evolutionist.
Jonathan Sarfati
Not so simple. Machen was more of a day-age creationist, like Hugh Ross, and was basically following B.B. Warfield. The problem is that once you start down that road, there is not much to prevent sliding into theistic evolution. Even some otherwise very sound theologians have fallen into that trap, and therefore become inconsisten with their own teaching.

Dr John Byl, a YEC with a Ph.D. in astronomy, has a helpful blog entry on this topic (9 August 2010), and cites Creation magazine interviewee Rev. Dr Peter Barnes as follows:

Throughout his life, Warfield held to the day-age theory regarding the days of Genesis 1, and that left him open to the possibility that part of the evolutionary hypothesis might be acceptable. In 1888, he was prepared to say that the evolutionary theory lacked proof but it remained an ‘open question,’ and even claimed that, apart from Eve’s creation, ‘I do not think there is any general statement in the Bible or any part of the account of creation, either as given in Genesis 1 and 2 or elsewhere alluded to, that need be opposed to evolution.’...

In short [Warfield stated], ‘there is no necessary antagonism of Christians to evolution, provided that we do not hold to too extreme a form of evolution.’ In 1901, Warfield wrote very critically of evolution, but still concluded that ‘the Christian man has as such no quarrel with evolution when confined to its own sphere as a suggestion account of the method of divine providence.’...

Mark Noll and David Livingstone overdo the extent to which Warfield was prepared to embrace evolution, but there is enough in Warfield’s writings to warrant the conclusion, in the minds of some of us, that the great man, was in the end rather too concessive.

And I endorse Dr Byl’s own comments:
2. Surely, one of the defining features of the Reformed faith is a high view of Scripture (e.g., Belgic Confession: “believing without doubt all things contained in the Bible”, “the true church rejects all things contrary to Scripture”, etc.). Since theistic evolution contradicts the Bible, the obvious Reformed response must be to uphold Scripture and reject theistic evolution. To the extent that Warfield and Machen did not do so, they were clearly non-Reformed, not just in their anthropology but, more importantly, in their epistemology.

3. The Reformed Confessions do in fact explicitly rule out an evolutionary origin of man. Belgic Confession (14): “We believe that God created man of dust from the ground …” Also, the Westminster Confession specifies creation “in the space of six days”.

4. The United Reformed Church Synod 2001 rejected theistic evolution. This makes Warfield and Machen sufficiently non-Reformed to place them beyond the bounds of URC orthodoxy.

5. Note Peter Barnes’ observation (above) that it was Warfield’s adherence to non-literal creation days that left him open to evolution. Hardly surprising. Once one has let allegedly scientific arguments convince one to waffle on the creation days, the same considerations, consistently applied, will eventually lead one also to embrace theistic evolution.

Non-literal creation days form an untenable halfway house, as witnessed by the steady progression—Peter Enns, Tremper Longman, Tim Keller, …—from the framework hypothesis of Westminster Sem. to the theistic evolution of Biologos blog.

6. In conclusion, one cannot argue that, since Warfield and Machen were orthodox, we should accept all their teaching. I think it fair to say that Warfield and Machen were generally soundly Reformed. They were great theologians from whom there is still much to learn. Nevertheless, regretfully, they did depart from Scripture in their treatment of evolution. Hence some of their teaching is non-Reformed.

The lesson to be learned is that even the greatest theologians can err. Therefore we must carefully test the theological spirits by the standard of God's Word.

The first step in recovering the Reformed confession is to recover a proper respect for the authority of God’s revealed Word.
Seth C.
The Lord was right there with Moses and the nation of Israel for forty years. If the book of Genesis required any editing or clarification, then those issues were resolved by the faithful witness of the Lord Himself in that ancient time.

Almighty God is THE power and authority, and his word has endured for thousands of years because it is bedrock truth. Any voice that seeks to diminish that power and authority is devoid of truth! They have traded that bedrock truth for textbooks which have to be re-written yearly to remove claims proven to be frauds decades prior, written by people who are openly hateful of God and His Church. Having proven themselves untrustworthy when they speak of earthly things, why should we ever trust evolutionists—theistic or otherwise—with heavenly things?
Jonathan Sarfati
Indeed so. Case in point: were there any lingering doubt about what God meant by the Creation Days of Genesis 1, He resolved this by telling us Himself what He mean, and with His own finger, in one of the Ten Commandments—Exodus 20:8–11.
John S.
All good, thank you so much. And especially the last paragraph, “There will no longer be even the possibility of redeemed people sinning, as the first person, Adam, did in the biblical Garden of Eden”—something I've always held. Thank God we won’t fall in it again! But have I missed something? Why no substantiation or references to support this?
Jonathan Sarfati
Since one promise is “No longer will there be anything accursed” (Revelation 22:3), and the curse is the penalty for sin, it follows logically that the redeemed people will do nothing to deserve a curse.
Chris M.
Has anyone else ever just thought that maybe our 3-lb brains just aren’t made to understand everything? As a believer, when I read Romans and then read these countless articles regarding naturalistic views vs creation views, I just come to the personal conclusion that although we can understand certain things using science, it’s just one piece of a very very large puzzle. Is this an assumption others have ever shared? Romans said that some will worship the created and not the Creator and ignore God’s invisible work. I just think it’s unbelievable ignorance as humans to think we can explain how this huge universe/earth/life works. God bless Creation Ministries!
David S.
It may seem too simplistic and myopic to some, but there is true freedom for the Christian in taking God at His Word. Now, any wrestling I do with the Word is simply to try and understand what God said, instead of trying to make it say what is convenient to me or others. What a difference! I can truly say that this journey started for me because of ministries like CMI. When I understood that the issue isn’t the evidence, but the authority of scripture, I stopped wasting time chasing after the latest proofs and got busy digging into God’s perfect revelation. In a sense, the success of your ministry has made it somewhat unnecessary for me! I hope you understand what I’m trying to say and are encouraged that you are making a difference.
Gian Carlo B.
Not much to add here. You nailed it. Although you could’ve also added Sanford’s recent paper on the waiting time problem when addressing the mutations to get apes to evolve to humans, but beyond that, that was nailed. [Similar to Ref. 9 in this article. The paper concerned is cited and discussed in The myth of ape-to-human evolution—JS]

Also, it would be a great idea to perhaps gather a list of references in which creationists have been positively acknowledged by seculars. Like that one guy who praised Tas Walker’s (or was it Andrew Snelling’s?) work on geology, can’t remember where exactly in the Journal of Creation I read it, he praised his work even though he disagreed with his conclusions. [I presume you refer to one of Dr Snelling’s articles in Creation magazine—see discussion in Petrified wood: fast or slow?]

Maybe there aren’t that much, but it does help point out how creationists have produced scientifically serious work that can be tested by everyone and is not caricatured as a position ‘beyond scientific testing’. Regardless, TEs should be, IMO, the first to honestly review and study what their YEC peers have uncovered instead of acting like the stereotypical secular, fundy evolutionist who says that evolution is an established fact when it’s not, it remains a theory in crisis (and yes, I do mean the scientific term of theory here).
Andy B.
Thanks Jonathan for such a detailed response to Wilson’s article.
May I graciously say that it’s surely time for the evangelical church to wake up to the dangers of playing fast and loose with the plain teaching of Scripture about Creation and the Fall and the implications for what we believe about the Lord Jesus and the purpose of His work of salvation. TE teaching is the wolf of liberalism dressed up in the sheep’s clothes of evangelicalism.
David G.
Excellent article. The TE position fails to grapple with what it means that God created a concrete creation continuous with the time-space world that constrains us. Firstly it teaches us that God is in commutative fellowship with us: that our fellowship is defined in terms of the real world God created and the real relationship that God has with us by virtue of his direct creation of the real world. To make Genesis anything other than a direct account of events means that something else is ‘really real’ but we don’t now what, and therefore don’t know what the encounters between God and man ‘really’ were and cannot know what it means to be in God’s image, and all that flows from that.
PHIL M.
You quote Todd Wilson (point 7) where he speaks of “God’s ‘two books’, Scripture and nature.” Now it is obvious that we read out of a book. In the context of the creation/evolution controversy, the past cannot be read out of nature. It can only be read into nature, because facts and artefacts do not speak for themselves. Therefore logically, nature cannot be called a “book”.
John P.
As always an excellent article. I would say once evangelicals depart from a literal understanding of God’s Word and fail to hold to a view of Sola scriptura, they can no longer be evangelicals. God tells us Himself in His Word if a text is historical or whatever else. You read a text in context and it interprets itself. There can be denominational differences but we must all let the Bible interpret itself. By differences I mean on such things as the coming Kingdom, baptism and the like which are beyond CMI’s brief. Wilson needs to do a study of the YEC position and change his mind accordingly as he is not being a true evangelical at this stage. Much of his views are a wolf in sheep’s clothing type of position. The Bible trumps the myth of evolution, the concept of which the father of lies—the Devil—tempted Adam and Eve with in the Garden. He’s the original scammer.
Michael B.
My takeaway comes from the ending:
You can’t redeem what was never lost.
You can’t restore what never was.
Gerald Y.
The Sarfati “fixity of species” needs more exposure, as it is so simple a caveman can understand it. I began thinking about that concept after a tour to the local zoo. They did not display the chromosome counts on the information plaques, and if you asked a zoo docent, they seemed taken aback by such a irrelevant question. The zoo is an excellent visual display of the “chromosome lock-out” for species, which in no way can be explained by the destructive process of mutation. The greatest advance for a Darwinist would be the mule.
Jonathan Sarfati
I am not sure what ‘Sarfati “fixity of species”’ you mean, because I reject this Lyellian/Rossian idea.

The mule, as a hybrid, shows that its parents are members of the same created kind.
Norman P.
Someone has to contend at the intellectual level, which is where the body of apologetics amassed by CMI is such a mercy and a comfort to the believer in a 21st Century ever-more gain-saying world. However, after nearly 50 years of walking in Christ, your statement below sums it all up for me:
“But although Scripture was penned by fallen humans, these humans were moved by the Holy Spirit, so Scripture itself is ‘God-breathed’ (2 Timothy 3:15–17). Therefore, Scripture is the only source of revelation not tainted by the Fall.”
Praise God, we are born of the Spirit, walk in the Spirit and are led by the Spirit—who leads us into all truth (if only we have ears to hear!). Sadly, even the Reformers erred, through allegorizing the other end of the story!
Paul M.
Thank you again for doing the hard work of research so that I, a mere scientific and apologetic layman, can cherry pick information for discussion and point them to your site! Your body of research is most edifying and your gifts do the body of Christ a great service! Thanks again.

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