Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Theistic Evolution or Evolutionary Creationist

I ran across this interesting article on Evolutionary Creationism (AKA theistic Evolution). The article is an interview with Denis Lamoureux makes some very good points. The article is published by Candian Christianity .com Here is a segment of the article:

Denis Lamoureux: First, a comment on terminology. The better term for born-again Christians who accept evolution is 'evolutionary creationist.' This is to distinguish us from deists (those who believe in the impersonal God-of-the-philosophers) and liberal Christians. Evolutionary creationists believe in miracles. I'm charismatic and have often experienced signs and wonders. We believe that the Bible is the inerrant and infallible Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit. I drink from it daily, for my spiritual nourishment. And we believe in intelligent design in nature, as revealed in Psalm 19 and Romans 1 -- for example, that complexity within the cell declares the glory of God. In fact, evolutionary creationists will even say the Big Bang and the evolution of life reflect the mind of God.

The problem with the term 'theistic evolution' is that the substantive -- the more important term -- is a scientific theory (the noun 'evolution'); and God is only the qualifier (the adjective 'theist'). I refuse to have the Lord as secondary to a human theory about the origin of the physical world. I am first and foremost a creationist. I believe in the Creator. I believe the world is His creation. From my perspective, it is clear to me that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit created the world through an ordained and sustained evolutionary process, in the same way that God created each of us in our mother's womb through an ordained and sustained embryological process.

Now to your question, and it is a very good one. I am in complete agreement with Billy Graham's approach to the Word of God: "The Bible is not a book of science, but a book of redemption."

For example, I do not go to God's Word to find out about the size of mustard seeds (Matthew 13:31-32 and Mark 4:30-32 say it is the smallest of all seeds), or how they germinate (John 12:23-24 and 1 Corinthians 15:34-37 state that they must die before growing). Moreover, I do not go to Scripture to understand reproductive problems (only women are barren in Scripture: Genesis 11:30, 25:21, Isaiah 54:1, Luke 1:7, 23:29, Galatians 4:27, Hebrews 11:11). And I do not use the Bible to inform my understanding of the structure of the cosmos (the earth is immovable, in 1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalms 93:1, 96:10 and 104:5; the sun moves across the sky in Joshua 10:13, Ecclesiastes 1:5 and Psalms 19:6; a solid firmament exists overhead in Genesis 1:6-7, 14-16, and Psalms 19:1).

Therefore, if I do not use the Bible to understand the structure and function of the world, I will not use it to find out about how the Lord created the world. The scripture simply reveals that God created everything in the universe. During the Biblical inspiration process, the Holy Spirit employed the science of the Hebrews as a vessel to deliver this foundational theological fact. In other words, the Holy Spirit accommodated to the intellectual level of ancient peoples. This is the very same communication technique that parents use to answer a four-year-old's question about where babies come from. They spare all the physical details of the sexual act, but reveal the most important point: that babies are a gift from God, because mom and dad love each other.

Back to Reverend Graham. He also said: "I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process . . . or not, does not change the fact that God did create man. Whichever way God did it makes no difference, as to what man is and man's relationship with God." I applaud Dr. Graham's honesty. He is not a biologist, so he will not make a statement about an issue that is not his area of expertise. However, he understands the purpose of God's Word perfectly. It is to reveal that we have been created in God's Image, and that we have sinned against God.

To conclude, I do not reconcile my position with Scripture -- because the intention of the Bible was never to reveal scientific facts generations prior to their discovery by modern scientists. Thus, there is no need for any reconciliation. Of course, the belief that the Bible is scientifically correct is a common assumption (termed 'concordism' -- or better 'scientific concordism') held by the majority of evangelical Christians. But it is a mistaken interpretive principle. In fact, it is an un-biblical assumption, because the science in the Scripture features an ancient science from 3,500 years ago.

No comments: