Theistic Evolution: Trading Truth for Acceptance – Landry Brewer

Landry Brewer

Johnny Oxendine provides this definition of theistic evolution: “The word ‘theistic’ is an adjective form of the Greek word theos (God), which describes one who believes in God. Thus a ‘theistic evolutionist’ would be one who believes in both God and evolution…”1

However, these two positions are so irreconcilable that even Dr. Phil couldn’t bring them together.

Theistic evolution allows man to have his cake and eat it too. The adherent may hold on to a belief in God and enjoy association with fellow theists while simultaneously receiving approval from secularists for his “enlightened” scientific beliefs. Regrettably, these beliefs have seeped into the church. “Brethren in… colleges and at various public school levels have welcomed this… to remain academically credible to their secular colleagues while… denying their Creator… it is the perfect prototype for the lukewarm and apostatizing Christian.”2

Oxendine quotes Stanley Beck of the American Lutheran Church as an example of evolution’s inroads among religious groups claiming an affiliation with Christianity. “To call himself reasonably well-educated and informed, a Christian can hardly afford not to believe in evolution…And to announce that you do not believe in evolution is as irrational as to announce that you do not believe in electricity.”3

That view was expressed in 1963, and things have hardly gotten better within “Christendom.” We should not be surprised when denominational leaders espouse views that contradict God’s word since the existence of denominations depends on such practice. Catholicism promotes theistic evolution and has since the time of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.4 But it’s especially distressing when members of the Lord’s church embrace this false notion which will have destructive unintended consequences.

Wayne Jackson argues that theistic evolution is accepted by those who claim to be Christians because of intimidation. Fear of being branded “ignorant” coerces many into believing assertions made by evolutionists. The fearful, therefore, are reduced to “textual distortion” to make the Bible harmonize with so-called modern science.5

One such attempt is theistic evolution, the “mongrel notion that suggests a supreme Being was responsible for the creation of matter, and…an initial life-force…but for the most part, the world of living creatures is the result of the evolutionary process.”6 But there are extreme difficulties with this position.

Evolutionists maintain that land appeared first on the globe, then water. Genesis conveys that water came first, then land (1:2, 6, 9). Moses wrote that plants were alive first (Gen. 1:11), yet evolutionists claim aquatic life preceded plants. Genesis places birds’ arrival on the scene before reptiles (1:21, 24), but the evolutionary scenario places reptiles here before birds. Moses and Jesus affirm that God created man fully formed (Gen. 1:27; 2:7, 22; Matt. 19:4), yet evolutionists assert “that a bi-sexual blob evolved into distinct sexes, that, via some ape-like ancestor, ultimately became human.”7

The two most popular theories employed by those desiring a belief in God, yet wedded to evolution, are known as “The Gap Theory” and “The Day-Age Theory.” With the help of the erudite Wayne Jackson, we shall deal with both.

The Gap Theory first surfaced in 1814, put forth by Thomas Chalmers of Edinburgh University.8 We shouldn’t be surprised that the notion was formulated at an institution of higher learning—where so much anti-biblical thought is entrenched dogma. Nearly two hundred years later, colleges and universities remain breeding grounds for atheism, agnosticism and hedonism.

Proponents of the theory claim there is a gap of billions of years between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Supposedly, during these billions of years there lived generations of men, plants and animals before Adam was created. God destroyed this “original creation” due to rebellion, however. Besides the complete lack of mention of such an event in the Bible, this notion contradicts Scripture. For example, God was pleased with all of creation (Gen. 1:31). How could this be if He was forced to destroy a previous world?9

Additionally, Paul refers to Adam as “the first man” in 1 Corinthians 15:45, and Moses writes that Eve is “the mother of all living” in Genesis 3:20. A race of man existing prior to Adam and Eve makes these statements false.10 If the Gap Theory is true, we can’t trust anything written from Genesis through Revelation, and the Bible is not the inerrant word of God.

The Day-Age Theory alleges that the days of creation as recorded in Genesis were not traditional twenty-four hour days. Instead, the term “day” is symbolic language and refers to vast spans of billions of years.11 This is also fanciful and can be proven false.

If eons of time were meant by the term day, how do you explain the repeated phrase “the evening and the morning” in Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23 and 31? Does a billion-year span begin with a morning and end with an evening? Moses distinguishes days from years in Genesis 1:14 “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:” Jackson asks a cogent question. “If ‘days’ actually represent years, what do ‘years’ signify?”12

Sound interpretation requires interpreting words literally unless the context demands figurative use. Nothing in Genesis 1 demands “days” be interpreted as billions of years. Only an evolutionary predisposition would read such into the account. This is plain when you consider Jewish observance of the Sabbath. The Jews observed a Sabbath day because God rested from creation on the seventh day (Ex. 20:11). The Jews didn’t observe a Sabbath day lasting billions of years. The Sabbath was a twenty-four hour period, and so was each day of creation.13

In addition, equal periods of light and darkness characterize the creation days of Genesis 1. Vegetation could not have lived during consecutive millions of years of darkness—the night portion of each “day”—without photosynthesis.14

Finally, plants requiring pollination would not have survived if the Day-Age Theory is true. Plant life arrived on day three, and other living entities came along on days five and six. Plants pollinated only by insects would not have survived the millions of years between “days” and the appearance of those insects.15

Charles Darwin’s evolution is false, and his disciples—theistic or otherwise—find themselves with insurmountable obstacles. Batsell Baxter lists a few.

  1. The atheists have no evidence or information about the beginning of life on earth…”

  2. There are no transition fossils between the simpler and the more complex forms of life…”

  3. “There is no adequate theory of a mechanism to explain how evolution occurred…”16

If Darwinian evolution is true, there should be many, many fossils deep within the earth’s surface that evidence the change from one species to another. This is just one of the tenets of the so-called theory assumed to be true.

Paleontologists at five premier natural history museums were interviewed for a study published in 1984 investigating creation versus evolution by the New York State Board of Regents. The paleontologists had affiliations with such prestigious universities as Harvard and Yale. None of these scientists could provide even one chain of fossils showing the evolutionary change from one type to another.17

Evolutionists such as Dr. Stephen Jay Gould admit that species appear in the fossil record with no preceding or succeeding transitional links. Like Dr. Gould, some “evolutionists have told the truth when they have declared there isn’t even a single proven or significant evolutionary transition.”18 This exposes just one flaw in the evolutionary scenario, yet it is assumed true by multitudes without question.

The slippery slope of theistic evolution leads one away from God and toward hedonism. Evolutionary dogma encourages flight from biblical morality and toward the casting off of any religious faith and, ultimately, atheism.19 If evolution is true, the Bible is false. No Bible, no God. No God, no morality. Theistic evolution is a step in that direction.

Many have noted that evolution influenced the ideologies of Nazism and Communism. Adolph Hitler made sure German education was saturated with evolution, and he used the doctrine as justification for his atrocities against Jews, gypsies and others as he tried to help natural selection weed out the weak so the strong could thrive. Russian despot Joseph Stalin held similar views, and he slaughtered millions.

Evolution is not subject to testing because it theoretically happens so excruciatingly slowly—over millions and billions of years—and its changes are so infinitesimally small. It cannot be verified in scientific laboratories.

Evidence of evolution in the fossil record doesn’t exist. In spite of this and the doubt it necessarily casts upon the truthfulness of God’s word, people claiming to be Christians, including members of the Lord’s church, cling to evolution. They fail to see the contradiction of theistic evolution’s premises in their effort to have acceptance in both religious and academic circles.

Evolution must be rejected on biblical, scientific and philosophical grounds. The end result is immorality and Godlessness. Theistic evolution strives to bridge the gap between two competing views of origins, but bestowing respectability upon Darwin’s idea cedes ground in the fight against a philosophy that denies plain biblical testimony about the world’s beginning. Never mind that it is unproven and unprovable. Theistic evolution is not the answer—it’s a compromise in which Truth is sacrificed for the sake of approval from a group of people who reject God.

End Notes

1: Johnny S. Oxendine, “From Adam to Noah,” Written for our Learning: A Historical Survey of the Old Testament, ed. Tommy J. Hicks (Lubbock, TX: Hicks Publications, 2002), 52.

2: Ibid.

3: Stanley Beck, quoted by Oxendine, 54.

4: Ibid.

5: Wayne Jackson, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth (Stockton, CA: Courier Publications, 2003), 59.

6: Ibid., 59-60.

7: Ibid., 60-61.

8: Ibid., 61.

9: Ibid., 61-64.

10: Ibid., 64.

11: Ibid.

12: Ibid., 65.

13: Ibid., 66.

14: Ibid., 66-67.

15: Ibid., 67

16: J.D. Thomas, quoted by Batsell Barrett Baxter, I Believe Because (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1971), 160-161.

17: John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Darwin’s Leap of Faith: Exposing the False Religion of Evolution (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1998), 218.

18: Ibid., 216-218.

19: Baxter, 165.

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